Picture Book Highlights | National Poetry Month

By Monica C. RSS Wed, April 12, 2023

April is National Poetry Month. It is fitting for it to be so, at the start of spring, at the start of renewal and new life. Everyone can be a poet and see poems in the world, in everyday life. Stop and take a moment to look around — poetry is for all ages. It can be simple or complex, short or long, a way to remember or to see the present, a way to connect to the world through the power of words.

Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver; illustrated by Tomie DePaola

For babies and toddlers, each moment is full of wonder and discovery. This delightful collection of original poems celebrates the everyday things that enthrall little ones, such as playing peekaboo, banging pots and pans, splashing at bath time, and cuddling at bedtime. Full of contagious rhythm and rhyme, this inviting picture book introduces young children to the sound of poetry and the magic and fun of being new in the world.

Take Off Your Brave: The World Through the Eyes of a Preschool Poet by Nadim Shamma; illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail

Four-year-old Nadim puts his words on paper and gives us a glimpse of how he sees the world: one filled with glitter, magical boxes, and cuddles with Mom. A place where school smells like daffodils and honey (and sometimes dirty socks), where Wednesdays are rainbow-colored, where fish in the sea make a shhhh sound, and where everyone has love, even baddies. At once funny and sweet, gentle and zany, this anthology may just entice readers young and old to release the poet within.

Smile Out Loud: 25 Happy Poems by Joseph Coelho; illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett

This is a book to help children build their confidence reading poems aloud and expressing and manifesting happiness and joy, for themselves and the audiences they choose to read to. It's for any child who wants to build confidence reading aloud, or wants a way to channel their speech and drama confidence. It is a book to foster a love of words and the power that comes with the spoken word. It will show children how speaking a poem aloud has a certain magic, almost like reading a spell.

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage edited by Lee Bennett-Hopkins; illustrated by various illustrators

This book brings together the work of 14 award-winning poets and 16 illustrators of diverse backgrounds who share aspects of their childhood experiences in honest portraits of what it was like for them growing up in the United States. Together, these heartfelt poems and captivating illustrations shine a light on the rich diversity of people in our nation as well as the timeless human connections and universal experiences we all share. Readers of any age and background are sure to find much that spark their memories and open their eyes.

Delicious! Poems Celebrating Street Food From Around the World by Julie Hofstrand Larios; illustrated by Julie Paschkis

The world is a delicious place! Come along on an international journey to try a hot pretzel in New York City; saffron tea in Mumbai, India; deep fried scorpions in Beijing, China; and much, much more. This poetry collection celebrates all the different kinds of street food from around the globe, introducing young readers to snacks they know and ones they’ve never heard of — showing that no matter where we live, we all appreciate a yummy treat!

Ebook available from Overdrive

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude edited by Miranda Paul; illustrated by Marlena Myles

Gratitude isn't something we need to save up for a special holiday. What are you grateful for right now, today? This anthology brings together a diverse group of poets who express gratitude for everything from a puppy, to hot cocoa, to the sky itself. Each writer uses a different poetic form, and readers will encounter a concrete poem, a sonnet, a pantoum, a sijo, and much more.

The Proper Way To Meet A Hedgehog and Other How-To Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illustrated by Richard Jones

Be they practical (how to mix a pancake or how to bird-watch) or fanciful (how to scare monsters or how to be a snowflake), the poems in this book boast a flair and joy that you won’t find in any instruction manual. Poets from Kwame Alexander, to Pat Mora, to Allan Wolf share the way to play hard, to love nature, and to be grateful. Soft, evocative illustrations will encourage readers to look at the world with an eye to its countless possibilities.

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka

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!

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield; illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi

Seven-year-old Jace and his puppy, Thinker, are poets, putting everything they do into verse, from going to the park, to philosophizing, to playing ball. One day, they’ll have the whole world figured out, but for now, Thinker has to keep quiet in public. And he can’t go to school with Jace for fear he might recite a poem in front of Jace’s classmates. But when Pets’ Day comes, and Thinker is allowed into the classroom at last, he finds it harder than he expected to keep his rhyming skills a secret.

Daniel Finds A Poem by Micha Archer

What is poetry? Is it glistening morning dew? Spider thinks so. Is it crisp leaves crunching? That’s what Squirrel says. Could it be a cool pond, sun-warmed sand, or moonlight on the grass? Maybe poetry is all of these things, as it is something special for everyone — you just have to take the time to really look and listen. The magical thing is that poetry is in everyone, and Daniel is on his way to discovering a poem of his own after spending time with his animal friends. What is poetry? If you look and listen, it’s all around you!

Ebook available from Overdrive

Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added.

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