Kiddosphere: Reading and Rhyming – Books for National Poetry Month
As we wind down April, it’s time to discuss one of my favorite national celebrations: National Poetry Month!
If you want inspirational poetry, don’t miss Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics. Although well-known Hispanics such as Cesar Chavez and Roberto Clemente are profiled, the real treat is in “meeting” other fascinating people such as Aida de Acosta and more.
Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship is already one of my favorite 2018 reads. Following a Caucasian child and an African-American child as they navigate their new guarded friendship created by a class project, this is a realistic, moving, and age-appropriate look at inadvertent (but still hurtful) comments that people can make about others and scary stuff on the news, as well as lighter stuff such as hobbies.
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night is one of the older titles in this post (2010), but it remains one of my favorite poetry collections. Joyce Sidman’s poetry collections are exceptional in both content and illustration; this features poetry about nocturnal animals (“I Am a Little Porcupette” is outstanding and adorable).
Digger, Dozer, Dumper is a must-read for all transportation fans and a great way to introduce the fun of poetry! From snowplows, to ambulances, to dump trucks, this is a treat for the vehicles-obsessed child.
Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems is another older title (2011), but I routinely recommend it for poetry requests. Told from older sister Jessica’s point of view, this celebrates the ups and downs of sisterhood.
I’m a fan of Carole Boston Weatherford, so I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace. This story-in-rhyme tells the miraculous life story of John Newton, the former slaver who dedicated his life to speaking out against slavery after a dramatic epiphany. The hymn’s legacy as a touchstone in the Civil War, the Cherokee Trail of Tears, and the civil rights movement is also lovingly explored, ending with a remembrance of President Obama singing a verse at the funeral of one of the Mother Emmanuel Church shooting victims (the details of the circumstance are not included in the mention, only in the author’s notes at the end). This is gorgeous and moving; one of my top favorites of the year so far.
Want laugh-out-loud poems? I Didn’t Do It will certainly fit the bill. Puppies are adorable–but they are a handful, as lovingly portrayed in this fun collection of dog poetry, told from individual puppies’ perspectives.
Looking for a sweet Father’s Day gift from the children? Consider My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads, which celebrates everything from reading stories with dad, to wrestling, getting a haircut, and more.
Want more poetry? Check out the J 811 section!
For program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers, make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!