POETRY & SHAKESPEARE: Our Favorite Picture Book Read-alouds

Disclosure: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog.

I read a bit of poetry most days with my three kids ages 12, 10, and 8. We often stick with one poet for 1 or 2 months. We like to read one or two poems from a collection each school day, and add in any picture books I can find of individual poems (love these), as well as poet biographies. We also read from anthologies created just for children. Sometimes instead of poetry we study a Shakespeare play. This list includes only the very best poetry and Shakespeare picture books we have read together.

This list is continually updated (newest books at the top of each section). 

Edward Lear
We also checked out a large volume illustrated by Lear himself. It wasn't my favorite of his poetry volumes (too many poems, not enough illustrations), but we did enjoy looking at his own illustrations of his poems.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Note: In retrospect, I wish I would have waited longer to introduce Tennyson. A huge part of Tennyson's work is about loss and mourning (after the death of a close friend). I ended up reading only some of the Poetry for Young People collection with all three of my kids, and reading additional poems with just my 12yo at other times.

Gwendolyn Brooks

A. A. Milne

Robert Frost

Langston Hughes 
Find additional information about the books below in this post devoted to Hughes' poetry.

Emily Dickinson

Carl Sandburg

Robert Louis Stevenson

Christina Rossetti
Find additional information about the books we used to study Rossetti, see this post.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Other Poets

Poetry Anthologies for Children

Other Poetry-related Picture Books

*While all of the books above are wonderful, I have starred (*) those books that were special favorites of all four of us. These starred books were picture books we checked out again and again from the library, or eventually purchased for ourselves, and are not to be missed. We hope you enjoy all of these books as much as we have!

Poetry for Young People and Poetry for Kids are two series of poetry books for children that we have enjoyed. Poetry for Young People is more appropriate for older elementary and Poetry for Kids is better for middle school and up, in my opinion, but we have enjoyed using both. With Carl Sandburg, for example, we read all of the Poetry for Young People volume but only selections from Poetry for Kids. You might also choose a volume based on the illustrations you like better. Both include biographical information and definitions for unfamiliar words. Poetry for Kids includes explanations about what each poem means in the endnotes (which you may or may not appreciate).

What are your favorites?



Popular posts from this blog

12 Favorite Picture Books about the American Revolution to Read Aloud