April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate with these picture book poems and poetry collections.

Picture Books

Bronzeville Boys and Girls by Gwendolyn Brooks, illustrated by Faith Ringgold

(Children’s Library + PS3503.R7244 B76 2007)

A collection of poems that celebrate the joy, beauty, imagination, and freedom of childhood.

Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back: A Native American Year of Moons by Joseph Burchac

(Children’s Library + PS3552.R794 T47 1992)
Celebrates the seasons of the year through poems from the legends of such Native American tribes as the Cherokee, Cree, and Sioux.

Soul Looks Back in Wonder illustrated by Tom Feelings, poems by Maya Angelou, et al.

(Children’s Library PS591.N4 S58 1994)

Artwork and poems by such writers as Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Askia Toure portray the creativity, strength, and beauty of their African American heritage.

Lizards, Frogs, and Pollywogs: Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian

(Children’s Library + PS3556.L589 L59 2001)

A collection of humorous poems about such reptiles and amphibians as the glass frog, the gecko, and the rattlesnake.

Dear Hot Dog by Mordicai Gerstein

(Children’s Library PS3557.E733 D43 2011)

Collects poems celebrating everyday activities, including drifting off to sleep, lying in the warm sun, and eating spaghetti for dinner.

Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley

(Children’s Library + PS586.3 .F675 2012)

“With personal introductions by former Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman—as well as her own time-tested tips and tools for memorization and recitation—and vivid illustrations by Michael Emberley featuring his trademark wit and lively characters, Forget-Me-Nots includes more than 120 works from both classic and contemporary poets, from childhood favorites to lesser-known treasures.” —Provided by publisher

Hoofbeats, Claws, & Rippled Fins: Creature Poems edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

(Children’s Library PS595.A5 H66 2002)

Inspired by Stephen Alcorn’s magnificent animal portraits, popular poet and noted anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins commissioned thirteen poets to craft verses to match the eloquence of this art. The resulting celebration of art and nature captures the subtle intensity and striking textures of a renowned artist’s relief-block prints in a unique homage to the power, mystery, and beauty of the natural world.

Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko by Misuzu Kaneko

(Children’s Library PL832.A598 A6 2016)

Are You An Echo? resurrects the work of Misuzu Kaneko and brings the gentle grace of her poems to a new generation.” —Provided by publisher

Read, Read, Read! by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

(Children Picture Book +VANDE)

“Twenty-three poems capture the joys of reading from that thrilling moment when a child first learns to decipher words to the excitement that follows in reading everything from road signs to field guides to internet articles to stories. These poems also explore what reading does, lyrically celebrating how it opens minds, can make you kind, and allows you to explore the whole world.” —Provided by publisher

With My Hands: Poems About Making Things by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

(Children Picture Book +VANDE)

“The short and lively poems in this collection explore many different forms of creativity and the excitement and satisfaction that each one brings.” —Provided by publisher

Poetry Collections

Doodle Soup: Poems by John Ciardi

(Children’s Library PS3505.I27 D6 1985)

Thirty-eight poems, mostly humorous, by the well-known poet.

Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls by William Cole

(Children’s Library PN6110.C4 C618)

“A collection of humorous poetry about naughty, ill-mannered, even cruel, boys and girls.” —Provided by publisher

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzo by Margarita Engle

(Children’s Library PS3555.N4254 P64 2006)

Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slaveowners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner’s wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world. Written in verse.

The Forgetful Wishing Well: Poems for Young People by X.J. Kennedy, illustrated by Monica Incisa

(Children’s Library PS3521.E563 F6 1985)

Seventy poems deal with the challenges of growing up, curious beasts and birds, city life, and other subjects both realistic and fanciful.

To The Moon and Back: A Collection of Poems by Nancy Larrick, illustrated by Catherine O’Neill

(Children’s Library PS586.3 .T6 1990)

Sixty-six poems by dozens of English and American authors are full of rhythm and movement and suitable for reading aloud.

A Wreath For Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson

(Children’s Library PS3573.A4795 W73 2005)

“In a profound and chilling poem, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement. This martyr’s wreath, woven from a little known but sophisticated form of poetry, challenges us to speak out against modern-day injustices, to ‘speak what we see.’” —Provided by publisher

Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets selected by Naomi Nye, illustrated by Ashley Bryan

(Children’s Library PS591.S3 S19 2000)

“There are 100 poems in this book by 100 poets who wrote their poems when they were in grades one through twelve. These poets are not famous. You have not read their poems before. These poets live anywhere. They are now dentists and dancers and teachers and students and construction workers. They write with fire. They could be you.” —Provided by publisher

The New Kid On The Block by Jack Prelutsky

(Children’s Library PS3566.R36 N4 1984)

Humorous poems about such strange creatures and people as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Rob Raczka

(Children’s Library PS3618.A346 A6 2016)
“Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways. Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write!” —Provided by publisher

Cornflakes: Poems by James Stevenson

(Children’s Library PS3569.T4557 C67 2000)

A collection of short poems with such titles as “I Can’t Move Mountains,” “Junkyard,” and “Greenhouse in March.”