Well, we are winding up a month of celebrating poetry and I have enjoyed every bit of it! Clever poems teach the rhythm of language, rhyme, humor and condensing ideas into clever language.
I wanted to share some of my favorites for kids:
Dirt on my Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy with illustrations by Steve Bjorkman. Designed for kids from 4-7, this collection of poems gets the younger set giggling. “Dirt on My Shirt,” the poem for which the book is named shows a boy delighting in a shower or mud—just what one would expect from a boy. Using themes that kids can relate to, “Are We There Yet?” “Staring Contest,” “Hide and Seek,” or “Bubbles,” this collection of poems finds the funny in everyday but keeps it simple enough for preschoolers. A special treat is the two-page spread, “What Do You See?” where the listener is invited to find 33 animals in Bjorkman’s lively illustration of life at the lake.
My Dog May Be a Genius by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by James Stevenson. Kids can’t get enough of Jack Prelutsky’s poems and his newest collection will continue the hilarious fun. His twist of words and imaginative subjects fall into perfect rhyme and cadence while leaving us laughing at his silliness. Some of my favorites are “The Underwater Marching Band,” “never having played a single sound on land.” Who are “disinclined to fret” yet “perennially wet.” I can’t do justice to the genius that Prelutsky employs with words. Manipulating them like a wizard, he makes language fun!
Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox and illustrated by Lydia Monks.A twist on the old fairy tale, this story is a laugh in rhyme. Each time the prince asks Rapunzel to throw down her “hair” or “curly locks,” she sends down her “underwear” or “dirty socks.” He’s a little too far away for her to pick up what he’s saying but she manages to extrapolate a rhyming word that sets the story on a hilarious path.
Dinothesaurus written and illustrated by Douglas Florian. Just out, this collection combines witty poems about a kids’ top topic with clever collages. Florian’s playfulness with words encourages children to attempt poetry with zest. Modern touches on an ancient subject bring these poems alive: “Gigantosaurus…when it was hungry or got into fights, It opened its jaws and took giga-bites.” Meanwhile, the water colored Gigantosaurus is taking bites of cutout images of cellphones and computers!
What are your favorite children’s poetry books? Share them in the comments below.