Pssst! Come closer and I will let you in on a secret...poetry completely baffles me. I know. I am an educator. I am supposed to teach this stuff, and maybe even like it. To be honest, I have had to work at it. I have to thank my friends like Paul Hankins and Donalyn Miller and John Schumacher for getting me to even crack open a poetry book.
Guess what?! Some of those books of poetry aren't so bad. I have even recommended some books of poetry that I have found to those same friends. I am learning and growing which means you can too if you think you might not like poetry.
I don't review many books of poetry on the blog. I sound kind of weird just writing "Read this. I liked it." So, instead, I am sharing my top 10 books of poetry for children that are kid friendly and could be used by teachers to have some fun with poetry in the classroom. And I can say confidently - Read these! You'll like them. (Please note, these are not in any kind of order...I really like them all.)
Mirror, Mirror! by Marilyn Singer, Illustrated by Josee Masse - This one is really my all time favorite. I am in awe of Singer's skills at writing these reversible poems. If you haven't seen this one, it is a must read.
Roots and Blues: A Celebration by Arnold Adoff; Ilustrated by R. Gregory Christie - This book of poetry has a jazz feel that just drips off the pages.
My People by Langston Hughes; Photographs by Charles R. Smith, Jr. - This was one of the poems that hooked me into Langston Hughes' poems.
Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw; Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin - I love this book. Even 18 months after it's release, I still remember and like this one.
Lemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word by Bob Raczka; Illustrated by Nancy Doninger - This one and Singer's Mirror, Mirror! are two must owns (in my opinion) for teachers.
Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O'Connell George; Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter - Maybe I appreciate this one because I am a big sister, but I love how this collection of poems tell a story.
Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace by Anna Grossnickle Hines - Yes, I just really like this collection of poems.
A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down by Dana Jensen; Illustrated by Tricia Tusa - Another one that can challenge children to have fun with poetry.
Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith - This is just a beautiful volume of poetry and the torn paper art is fantastic and Smith is funny in person (though grab a tissue when reading this one). Aren't those reasons enough to read it?
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech- Though this is really a novel in verse, I had to add this book to the list. I learned a lot about poetry from this small book.
What poetry books would be on your list?