Poetry Collections for K~5

Did you know there are 50 types of Poetry?

Each poem is defined by its number of lines, whether the words rhyme or not, and about what subject the poet is writing.

My introduction to poetry as a child was playing with Mother Goose rhymes and being read Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Both of my parents enjoyed poetry. My mother loved to read works by Card Sandburg, Robert Frost, and Johann Goethe. My father preferred to write it.

I had little interest in reading poetry until much later when classroom teachers introduced Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha”, “Paul Revere’s Ride”, and “The Courtship of Myles Standish” as well as Poe’s “The Raven” & “Lenore”. I, of course, read many other poets and their works in college Lit classes.

Experiencing children’s love of rhyme and other forms of poetry inspired in me, as a teacher, an appreciation and love for poems. Introducing new content with a poem was  a perfect way to engage students…..well, most of them, anyway…

And loving to play with words as I do, I, even, began creating some poems of my own.

Not a courageous, or particularly poetically-minded writer, my poetry usually has ending rhyme words with each line following a consistent syllabication formula.

So, in honor of this Poetry Collection Resource, I composed a few, well, more than a few, lines of verse. But, faithful reader~you know how I am…

It is…”A Poem About Poems”…


 Whew! That took longer than I expected…..

The Book List

There are many wonderful poets who write wonderful poetry for children.

I will begin this list with Jack Prelutsky. He is  an award-winning author & the first U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, who has published over 50 poetry collections and written over 40 books for children. His poems have delighted people of all ages for decades with his clever humor and hilarity! Here are 6 of his collections in no particular order:

  • Good Sports : 40 pages / Grade Levels 1-4
  • It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles! : 40 pages / Grade Levels K-5
  • A Pizza the Size of the Sun : 160 pages / Grade Levels K-5
  • The New Kid on The Block : 160 pages / Grade Levels K-5
  • What A Day It Was at School! : 40 pages / Grade Levels K-5
  • Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young : 112 pages / Grade Levels PK-2

He has, also, written poetry for Grade-Level Readers in the  I Can  Read series:

  • It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! : 48 pages /Grade Levels PK-3
  • My Parents Think I’m Sleeping :48 pages /Grade Levels K-3
  • It’s Halloween! :56 pages /Grade Levels PK-3
  • It’s Thanksgiving!  :45 pages /Grade Levels PK-3

Another beloved, award-winning children’s poet, story-teller, & artist, Douglas Florian, has written dozens of poetry books. He has read his poetry in several huge venues such as Carnegie Hall & The White House. Here are 10 of his collections in no particular order:

  • Beast Feast : 48 pages / Grade Level 1-4
  • Insectlopedia : 48 pages / Grade Level PK-3
  • Poetrees : 48 pages / Grade Level 1-5
  • Dinothsaurus : 56 pages / Grade Level 1-5
  • Lizards, Frogs & Polliwogs : 48 pages / Grade Level 1-4
  • Bow Wow Meow Meow : 56 pages / Grade Level 1-4
  • Comets, Star, the Moon & Mars : 56 pages / Grade Level PK-3
  • Friends & Foes: Poems about Us All : 48 pages / Grade Level PK-3
  • In the Swim : 48 pages / Grade Level 1-4
  • Summersaults : 48 pages / Grade Level K-5

Bobbi Katz writes poetry, prose & professional books (about poetry for children) for educators. Some of her poetry books are collections of other poets, while some  are all written by her. Here are 5 of them:

  • Pocket Poems : 32 pages / Grade Level K-3
  • Once Around the Sun: 40 pages / Grade Level K-3
  • A Rumpus of Rhymes : 32 pages / Grade Level 1-5
  • A Popple in Your Pocket : 32 pages / Grade Level K-5
  • Poems Just for Us! : 32 pages / Grade Level K-3

Marilyn Singer is another award-winning author, who has written more than 30 books of poetry for children. Here are 4 of her poem collections:

  • Feel the Beat : 32 pages / Grade Level K-3
  • A Stick Is an Excellent Thing : 40 pages / Grade Level PK-3
  • SuperHeroes Employment Agency : 40 pages / Grade Level 1-4
  • Fireflies At Midnight : 32 pages / Grade Level K-4

In addition to being a recreation therapist & children’s librarian, Carol Diggory Shields has published 3 humorous poetry books about children in school. They are:

  • Almost Late for School : 48 pages / Grade Levels 1-3
  • Lunch Money : 40 pages / Grade Levels PK-2
  • After the Bell Rings : 32 pages / Grade Levels 1-4

The award-winning and third Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, has published more than 80 books of poetry for children. He edited and selected  a variety of  poems to accompany the stunning National Geographic photos in their 2 poetry collections for children:

  • National Geographic’s Book of Animal Poetry : 192 pages / Grade Levels PK-3
  • National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry : 192 pages / Grade Levels PK-3

Gyo Fujikawa, an artist who created for many years at Walt Disney Studios, was an author & illustrator of more than 50 books for children. Immensely popular, they have been translated into 17 languages and are read in over 22 countries. She illustrated 2 poetry collections for children. They are:

  • A Child’s Book of Poems : 128 pages / Grade Levels PK-2
  • Mother Goose : 130 pages PK-2

When looking for other poetry books for children, ages 5-10, I, also, discovered several more engaging poets.  Here are ten additional collections listed alphabetically by the poet’s name:

  • Attewell, Steve Once I Laughed My Socks Off : 26 pages / Grade Levels 2-5
  • Berry,  James Around the World in 80 Poems : 96 pages / Grade Levels PK-7
  • Donaldson, Julia Poems to Perform : 156 pages / Grade Levels K-2
  • Fogliano, Julie When Green Becomes Tomatoes : 56 pages / K-5
  • Hoberman, Mary Ann The Llama Who Had No Pajama : 68 pages / Grade Levels 1-4
  • Lansky, Bruce A Bad Case of Giggles : 128 pages / Grade Levels 1-7
  • Mannis, Celeste One Leaf Rides the Wind : 32 pages / Grade Levels K-3
  • Nesbitt, Kenn One MinuteTil Bedtime : 176 pages / Grade Levels PK-3
  • Noda, Takayo Dear World : 32 pages / Grade Levels K-3

I hope this book list provides some engaging reads for you and yours into the world of poetry.

There are TONS more poets who have written wonderful poems your children have enjoyed!

Please let me hear from you, so I can add them to this list.

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