Recommended Poems: 8 Must-Read Collections of Poetry
April is a big month for literature lovers! They not only celebrate National Poetry Month, but National Library Week from April 8 – 14. Help your child enjoy this special week with a trip to your local library for classic books of recommended poems.
Here’s a selection of books from Kumon’s Recommended Reading List to spark your child’s imagination and enjoyment of poems.
Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young Collected by Jack Prelutsky
Great for infants through pre-k
America’s favorite children’s poet, Jack Prelutsky, has selected more than 200 poems for every occasion, every talent, and every experience that a young child encounters. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, all the poems are written by popular and well-known 20th century poets. Each poem is artfully brought to life in bright, playful illustrations.
My Very First Mother Goose By Iona Opie
Readers between pre-k and 2nd grade
From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner,” these are all familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations. My Very First Mother Goose captures the simple joy and sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page.
Here’s a Little Poem Compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
Readers between kindergarten and 2nd grade
This exuberant celebration of poetry is an essential book for every young one’s library. Here’s a Little Poem offers a comprehensive introduction to some remarkable poets, even as it captures a very young child’s intense delight in the experiences and rituals of every new day.
A Giraffe and a Half By Shel Silverstein
Readers between 2nd and 4th grades
Featuring rhythmic verse and iconic illustrations, A Giraffe and a Half will leave every reader, young and old, laughing until the very end. Beloved for over 50 years, this classic captures Silverstein’s signature humor and style. This book is also great to read aloud to preschoolers and young students.
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices By Paul Fleischman
Readers between 3rd and 5th grades
From the Newbery Medal-winning author, Joyful Noise is a collection of irresistible poems that celebrates the insect world. Funny, sad, loud, and quiet, each of these poems resounds with a booming, boisterous, joyful noise.
Archy and Mehitabel By Don Marquis
Readers between 7th and 9th grades
Taking place in New York City, this classic book of poetry presents the tale of Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the alley cat. Both have led previous lives, and the poems capture their stories, past and present. It is Archy who records their experiences on the boss’s typewriter late at night, but he is unable to hold down the shift key to type capital letters. Best read aloud, the content is light, but also thoughtful.
Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe By Edgar Allan Poe
Readers in high school
This collection well represents all the melancholy, brilliance, passionate lyricism, and torment of Edgar Allen Poe. Here, in one volume, are his masterpieces of mystery, terror, humor, and adventure, including stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Black Cat, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Pit and the Pendulum, and his finest lyric and narrative poetry—The Raven and Annabel Lee, to name just a few.
101 Great American Poems By Various Authors
Readers in high school
In 101 Great American Poems readers will find a selection of verse representing a wide range of poetic styles and voices, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries. The authors include famous poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Thirteen poems are given as text exemplars for teachers to use along with the Common Core State Standards.
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