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Poetry & Rhymes for the Youngest--a list for National Poetry Month
Poems & rhymes to share with the youngest of children--what to read before you bring out the Shel Silverstein.   Print this list Print this list
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Contributed by Emily Lloyd     |    Comment on this list     |     1239 views

Cover Art: Octopus, oyster, hermit crab, snail : a poem of the sea /
Octopus, oyster, hermit crab, snail : a poem of the sea
Anderson, Sara.
A simple poem and power-packing vocabulary-builder (cerulean, canopy, briny). Great vivid artwork, too.
Easy Picture BookANDERSO
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Cover Art: The genie in the jar /
The genie in the jar
Giovanni, Nikki.
A whirling, rhythmic poem, great to read aloud, with art by Chris Raschka, my favorite children's illustrator working today. Win!
Easy Fiction PS3557.I55G46 1996
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Cover Art: Flicker flash : poems /
Flicker flash : poems
Graham, Joan Bransfield.
Bright concrete poems, a treat for little eyes to follow.
Children's Nonfiction BookPS3557.R213 F55 1999
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Cover Art: My people /
My people
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.
A very short Hughes poem accompanied by wonderful photos.
Children's Nonfiction BookPS3515.U274 M9 2009
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Cover Art: Today and today /
Today and today
Kobayashi, Issa, 1763-1827.
Issa is one of my favorite haiku writers. This is a short selection for kids, with haiku arranged by season. ("So many breezes/wander through my summer room:/but never enough.")
Children's Nonfiction BookPL797.2 .A247 2007
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Cover Art: One leaf rides the wind : counting in a Japanese garden /
One leaf rides the wind : counting in a Japanese garden
Mannis, Celeste Davidson.
Quiet but lovely illustrations accompany 10 haiku, each one including a number from 1-10. "What do flowers dream?/Adrift on eight pond pillows,/pink-cheeked blossoms rest."
Easy Fiction 811.6 M316
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Cover Art:
Martin, Bill, 1916-2004
Special love for this illustrated version of a rhyme covered by many for its portrayals of strong & diverse female cops, firefighters, reporters, and more.
Easy Picture BookMARTIN
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Cover Art: To market, to market /
To market, to market
Miranda, Anne.
This ain't your grandma's "To Market, To Market"--a silly, fun twist on the well-known nursery rhyme (especially fun for vegetarian families).
Easy Picture BookMIRANDA
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Cover Art: Big cat, small cat /
Big cat, small cat
Rubinger, Ami
A good one for children learning to rhyme (and learning their opposites)--every other page the "audience" is asked to supply the rhyming opposite: "Big cat, small cat, short cat, ______ cat."
Easy Picture BookRUBINGE
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Cover Art: Chicken soup with rice : a book of months /
Chicken soup with rice : a book of months
Sendak, Maurice.
The ultimate lilting sticks-in-your-head childhood rhyme.
Easy Picture BookSENDAK
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Cover Art: One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish /
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish
Seuss, Dr.
Dr Seuss's rhymes can't be beat. For the youngest children, I stick to his easy readers (like One Fish, Hop On Pop, There's a Wocket in My Pocket, etc) & avoid most of the longer, more complicated picture books.
Easy Fiction SEUSS
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Cover Art: Chicken scratches : Grade A poultry poetry and rooster rhymes /
Chicken scratches : Grade A poultry poetry and rooster rhymes
Shannon, George.
"Neither my kid nor I have any particular love for chickens. Will we really like a whole book of chicken poems?" "Yes, when they're this good, absolutely."
Easy Fiction 811.54 Sh19 2010
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Cover Art: This is a poem that heals fish /
This is a poem that heals fish
Simeon, Jean-Pierre, 1950-
Arthur asks friends, neighbors, and family members what a poem is, and gets a different definition from each--all in beautiful figurative language ("A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone").
Easy Picture BookSIMEON
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Cover Art: Rhyming dust bunnies /
Rhyming dust bunnies
Thomas, Jan, 1958-
Dust bunny Bob has a tin ear when it comes to rhyme, to the chagrin of the other rhyming dust bunnies. But when they're so caught up in the raptures of rhyming that they don't see a vacuum cleaner coming for them, Bob proves that he has other talents worth admiring. Goofy fun.
Easy Picture BookTHOMAS
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Cover Art: There is a flower at the tip of my nose smelling me /
There is a flower at the tip of my nose smelling me
Walker, Alice, 1944-
I love the idea that the things we experience with our senses also experience us with theirs. Quietly mindblowing.
Children's Nonfiction Book811.54 W151
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