Put a Poem in Your Pocket

April is National Poetry Month. We are all familiar with the classics like Where the Sidewalk Ends, The New Kid on the Block, and A Child's Garden of Verses, (if you've never heard of these titles, stop right now and check them out!). If you're looking for something different, here are a few other suggestions that are bound to make your top ten list.

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms
Selected by Paul B. Janeczko, Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Confused by the many rules of the different types of poems? This book is a great, easy way to learn the differences between a couplet and a Limerick and a Haiku. Simple and colorful, these playful poems are fun to read, even if you don’t care about the style. This book features twenty-nine different poetic forms from various poets.

Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry
Collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters

From getting up in the morning through enjoying the adventures of the day to a cozy bedtime, this perceptive collection depicts a toddler’s day from dawn to dusk. This colorful book captures a very young child’s intense delight in daily experiences and routines.

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry
Edited by Bill Martin Jr.

Traditional children's poems are presented alongside contemporary pieces, and the collection is capped off with tributes by Eric Carle and Steven Kellogg, two of Bill Martin Jr's best-known collaborators. This essential compilation also features original illustrations by award-winning artists, including Ashley Bryan, Lois Ehlert, Steven Kellogg, Chris Raschka, Dan Yaccarino, Nancy Tafuri, and Derek Anderson.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat
Edited by Nikki Giovanni

Poetry can have both a rhyme and a rhythm. Sometimes it is obvious; sometimes it is hidden. But either way, make no mistake, poetry is as vibrant and exciting as it gets. And when you find yourself clapping your hands or tapping your feet, you know you’ve found poetry with a beat!

Tap Dancing on the Roof: sijo (poems)
By Linda Sue Park

What’s sijo? A type of poem that originated in Korea. But what is it? A sijo has a fixed number of stressed syllables, usually divided into three or six lines. Like haiku? Kind of. But a sijo always has a surprise, an unexpected twist or joke, at the end. Sound like fun. It is. You’ll see.