Launching Children’s Poetry Books to Inspire Your Mini Writer

What better way to introduce the art of poetry to your tiny tot with some classic children’s poetry!

Book Culture Classics Poetry & Drama Recommendations Young Readers
Image of three various children's poetry books, surrounded by flowers and books.

Growing up, I never found poems quite as fascinating until our fourth-grade English teacher began our first poetry lesson. I never knew the fine detail and thought process a writer would put into their poems. I only saw them as random words sewn together with no explanation. But it was that lesson that changed it all. Nine-year-old Erin changed after that lesson…poetry became my life. I obsessed with breaking apart every poem I could indulge in. Every poem changed my writing experience, and the complete range collection of poems watched my writing career grow.

Poetry has done quite magical things for my creativity, and it all started in that one classroom lesson. Children are some of the most creative beings we have in our world, and I can confirm the art of poetry will open up a journey of creative skills for all our younger generations. If you are hoping to help your child blossom with some inspiring poetry, these collections of children’s poetry books will change your little writer’s life. Let’s check them out!

The Shel Silverstein Collection

Image of two kids and a dog on a sidewalk with no end, while a sign that says, "Edge," sits on the beginning of the sidewalk.

Now, this one was obvious…who doesn’t love the Silverstein collection? His words are silly enough for every young reader to understand and laugh along. Some may have a deeper meaning than others..but that is the magic of Silverstein’s writing. His ability to touch every reader’s heart is truly mystical; even as a 24-year-old, I still get choked up by some of his fantastic words. The best part? His collection is endless. From his most popular book, Where the Side Walk Ends, to smaller short stories like The Giving Tree, Silverstein has made his mark in the children’s poetry department. His poems will change your child’s life, and he might change yours, too. 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin

Image of a brown bear looking at the reader and smiling.

Looking to introduce your earlier-age child to poetry? Bill Martins Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? might be the perfect book for your 3 to 5-year-old! Martin’s adorable storyline will truly capture your young reader’s attention. Filled with abstract and colorful pictures, the beautifully rhymed words are the perfect introduction to what poetry is. This was a classic read for my sisters and me as children, and I am sure it will strongly impact your child’s future reads!

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Book cover of a hand-drawn dog in front of a yellow background.

The PERFECT book for any child who is struggling to find their writing path. As a child, it took me (what felt like centuries) to find my writing style. I needed inspiration and some encouragement to pick up my pencil and spill out my feelings. Love That Dog was one of the few books that impacted my tiny little kid brain. Creech writes in a beautiful free-verse style, following a boy and his journey in writing his own poetry. Though at first, he struggles with his teacher’s assignment of writing poem after poem. But over time, he finds his groove, and soon, he can’t keep his writing flow from stopping. BUY THIS BOOK! 

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky

Book cover of various animals all sitting around a decorated villa.

Looking for a large collection of poems to dig into with your child? This wondrous collection of children’s poetry might be the perfect fit. With over five hundred handpicked children’s poems, there are bound to be some future favorites that your child will not get enough of. The best part of this book is its impressive collection! You will surely have plenty of titles that will catch your young reader’s eye.

Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson (edited by Susan Snively) 

Image of a kid in a window, writing a note with a lamp giving her light, all while being watched by a wee bird outside on a tree.

As one of the most famous poets in history, Emily Dickinson has impacted our world of writing in too many ways to count. Though some of her writing may be complicated for a child to nose-dive into, there is a handful of poetry that will spark a child’s imagination. Those poems were hand-picked by editor Susan Snively and placed in a collection for your young reader to enjoy. Historical poetry will do wonders for your future writer’s creative skills, and Dickinson may be one of the best inspirations.

This is Just to Say by Joyce Sidman

Book cover of two people, one holding a kite with a bird on top, and the other blowing bubbles. The two stand on a floating hat boat in the blue ocean.

This is Just to Say is full of heart-melting poems you will not want to end. Poems from a sixth-grade class writing about some of their greatest apologies, this quick read is perfect for strumming your emotional strings. Some of these poems will have you chuckling along with the fictitious writer, and others might have you choked up from their heartfelt meanings. This is a very cherishable book full of love, tears, and memories you will want to remember forever. I recommend picking this up if you are looking to read alongside your child; I believe it will bring a lot of joy to you both.

Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell

Image of a person with long hair that breaks into vines with various objects flowing through them.

A fantastic collection of various poets and their most beautiful stories, but in poetry form! I recommend picking up this lovely collection for young readers on the older side, around 12 or up. Though a not-miss, the book might have a better connection to a reader who can read between the lines of these heartfelt words. The best part of this collection is the pure range of poems, some from poets of Shakespeare’s time to poets of the twenty-first century. This will become a classic read for your kiddo. Its magnificent series of poems will feel like magic. 

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

Image of two children being held by a giant rat, reading a book to them, with two strangers gasping at the rat. All while a pig and a woman talk on the phone.

Revolting children living in revolting times! (Quick Broadway pun for all you Roald Dahl fans!) Hands down, one of the best poetry books of my childhood. I could never, NEVER, get enough of Roald Dahl’s silly puns, phenomenal fairytales, and imaginative writing skills. With six stories full of the funkiest rhymes, this book is the perfect blend of story and poetry. I recommend this book if you are looking for a little bedtime story…but in poem form! It is the perfect little practice lesson for your little critter, and I have no doubt they will LOVE Dahl’s outstanding twists on the common fairytale. 

Poetry may be a difficult lesson for a child to learn. It involves breaking apart word for word and finding the true meaning of its author’s puzzled feelings. I struggled as a child to understand how a poem means more than its silly words. I thought I would never like the task of writing a poem, or even writing at all! But here I am, fifteen years later, melting by the smallest poem with even a little emotion and writing every silly little thought I can…Poetry can and will change a child’s creative gears, and it just takes that one poem to inspire them. Will it be one of these poems?


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IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / ERIN EWALD