Reading poetry has numerous benefits for building early literacy skills. It helps your kids with focus, concentration, and analytical thinking skills, while also improving memory, self-expression, mental stimulation, and vocabulary.

We have put together a list of 16 books with poetry collections. All of them would make great additions to your family library.


At Jerusalem's Gate Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetryAt Jerusalem’s Gate

Poems of Easter
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5183-3
48 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.625 x 12.25

Ages 9-14
Full-color Illustrations Throughout

I angle for
a glimpse of him
whose touch unlocks
a blind man’s sight,
a deaf man’s hearing.

A man in the crowd at Jerusalem vies to see Jesus; a disciple recounts details of the Last Supper; Pilate’s wife fears her husband’s decision. Beginning with Christ’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem, Nikki Grimes explores the first Easter through the voices of those who witnessed it.

The author’s introductions provide a thoughtful framework, and David Frampton’s beautifully intricate and expressive woodcuts illuminate each poem. At Jerusalem’s Gate offers readers of all ages insight into the most important moments in Christian history.

Read a review of the book by our own Rachel Bomberger on EerdWord.

Read about some great Lenten craft ideas to accompany this book on Eerdlings.


Purchase At Jerusalem’s Gate  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


Birdie Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsBirdie

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5513-8
208 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25

Ages 10 to14


A relatable novel-in-verse about loss… and what happens afterwards

Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn’t easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin.

But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie’s mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie’s spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.

With compelling verse and a lighthearted touch, Eileen Spinelli captures the poignancy of adolescence and shows what can happen when you let people in.


Purchase At Birdie  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


ISBN: 978-0-8028-5437-7
320 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25

Ages 13 and up

A compelling novel in verse about mental illness

Laura is a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the 1960s, navigating her way through classes, friendships, and even a new romance. But she’s carrying around a secret: her mother is suffering from a mental illness. No one in Laura’s family will talk about her mother’s past hospitalizations or increasingly erratic behavior, and Laura is confused and frightened. Laura finds some refuge in art, but when her mother suffers a breakdown after taking painting back up again herself, even art ceases to provide much comfort.

Eloquent and compelling, this powerful novel-in-verse tackles complex themes in a way that will have readers rooting for Laura to find the courage to get the answers she needs.

Read an article by Linda Vigen Phillips on EerdWord.


Purchase At Crazy  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.



Hidden City Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsHidden City

Poems of Urban Wildlife
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5459-9
48 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 12

Ages 4 to 8


A poetic book highlighting everyday nature

The perfect blend of science and poetry, Hidden City demonstrates that nature can thrive anywhere, even in highly populated areas. In this graceful collection of poems, skyscrapers serve as perches for falcons, streetlights attract an insect buffet for hungry bats, and an overgrown urban lot offers shelter to both flora and fauna. Hidden City also includes engageing supplementary materials, which provide scientific information about the animals and plants featured in the book.

Coupled with beautiful collage illustrations, the poems in Hidden City offer readers the perfect reminder to notice and care about their environment.


Purchase Hidden City  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


I Lay My Stitches Down Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsI Lay My Stitches Down

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5386-8
34 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 12

Ages 10 & up
Full-color illustrations throughout
Lexile: 990L

This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

This moving and eloquent set of poems, brought to life by vivid and colorful artwork from Michele Wood, offers a timeless witness to the hardship endured by America’s slaves. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.


Purchase I Lay My Stitches Down  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.



I'll Root for You Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsI”ll Root for You

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5501-5
44 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 7.34 x 9.5

Ages 7 & Up


A collection of poems that’s sure to be a winner

This delightful poetry collection is the perfect cheerleader for young athletes . . . especially ones who may not be the most athletic. Edward van de Vendel introduces readers to a world where elephants figure skate, frogs win the Diversity Olympics, and a pig quits the football team for gymnastics, even though everyone laughs at his leotard. Paired with winsome illustra­tions, the poems—sometimes silly, sometimes sincere—encourage young readers to pursue their goals, try their best, and take pride in themselves, whether they win or lose.

This irrepressibly joyful book from an award-winning team will have readers cheering for more.

Purchase I”ll Root for You  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


ISBN: 978-0-8028-5532-9
32 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.5″ x 10.5″

Ages 4 to 8


A lovely retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of the animals

There is a legend that describes how, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all creatures are granted the power of speech for one hour. In this rich collection, Lee Bennett Hopkins and a dozen other poets imagine what responses they might offer. The poems represent a diverse group of animals, but all come together with one singular purpose: celebrating the joy of the miraculous event.

This collection of graceful poems provides readers with a Nativity story unlike any other — at times gently humorous, at times profound, but always inviting readers to appreciate the wonder of Christmas. This book is a perfect gift for the holiday season.

Includes poems by…

  • Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Joan Bransfield Graham
  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  • X. J. Kennedy
  • Jude Mandell
  • Marilyn Nelson
  • Jane Yolen
  • Ann Whitford Paul
  • Prince Redcloud
  • Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Michele Krueger
  • Alma Flor Ada
  • Alice Schertle


Purchase Manger  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


ISBN: 978-0-8028-5397-4
32 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 10.5 x 12

Ages 4-9
Full-color Illustrations Throughout
Lexile: 640L


On that first Christmas night, the earth bursts with praise at the Savior’s birth. Donkeys bray, sheep bleat, horses neigh, and shepherds come from nearby fields — but Mary simply wants to be alone with her sweet babe.

When quiet finally falls, Mary cradles her son and sings her mother- song, leaving readers dreaming of that silent night so long ago.

Mary’s Song, with its melodic language and rich illustrations, is a lovely reminder of the meaning of Christmas and a welcome pause in the midst of a bustling world.


Purchase Mary’s Song  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


Night Guard Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsNight Guard

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5458-2
82 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.75″ x 8.625″
Friendship, fear, loneliness — these are things that are universally experienced but difficult to describe. In this arresting poetry collection, Synne Lea explores these concepts and more through the thoughts and experiences of a family. As the family members examine their connections with each other and the world around them, they gain a deeper appreciation of love and friendship and learn how to reach beyond the confines of their own isolation.

Accompanied by breathtaking artwork, these enchanting poems will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.


Purchase Night Guard  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.

A Pond Full of Ink Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsA Pond Full of Ink

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5433-9
34 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.25 x 10.375

Ages 6 & up

A whimsical collection of children’s poems by a beloved author

This delightful collection of poems offers children and the young at heart a refreshing, inventive look at the world from the well-known Dutch author, Annie Schmidt. The rollicking poems tell the stories of such intriguing characters as three elderly otters who long to go boating but find themselves biking instead, animated furniture that comes to life when no one is home, and Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve who nest up in a tree!

The poems in A Pond Full of Ink transform ordinary events and places into extraordinary adventures full of imagination, much like the work of Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky. Accompanying the poems is bold and expressive artwork that makes this book too charming to resist.


Purchase A pond Full of Ink  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5507-7
32 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.5 x 11

Ages 4 to 8

A poetry collection celebrating the wonders of the natural world

This haiku collection will enchant both nature lovers and budding poets. The spare, lyrical text describes a series of short vignettes, each of them taking place in a different kind of rain, from thunderstorms to falling flower petals. The poems—some serious, some gently humorous—depict scenes from all over the globe: a horse struggling to plow a field, a father changing a tire while his children play, and two friends making up after a fight.

With its majestic artwork, this introduction to a classic poetic form will inspire readers to write their own haiku as they experience the amazing world around them.


Purchase Rain  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adults.jpgA River of Words

The Story of William Carlos Williams
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5302-8
34 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9 x 10

Ages 7 & up
Full-color Illustrations Throughout
Lexile: AD820L

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Willie loved to write — words gave him freedom and peace. But he also knew that he needed to earn a living, so when he grew up he went off to medical school and became a doctor — one of the busiest men in town! Yet he never stopped writing.

In this picture book biography of poet William Carlos Williams, Jen Bryant’s engaging prose and Melissa Sweet’s stunning mixed- media illustrations celebrate the amazing man whose poems about ordinary, everyday things will inspire young readers to create poems of their own.

Interview with Jen Bryant
Interview with Melissa Sweet


Purchase A River of Words  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.



Song of Creation Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsSong of Creation

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5271-7
32 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9.375 x 11

Ages 5-10
Full-color Illustrations Throughout


“Birds pray, trees pray, flowers pray, mountains pray, the winds and rain pray, rivers and the little insects pray as well. The whole earth is in constant prayer, and we can join with its great prayer,” says award-winning author and illustrator Paul Goble.

Every element of creation — from the magpie to the minnow — glorifies God in its own way in this bold and brightly illustrated work, adapted from The Book of Common Prayer. Goble invites readers to join with the land and the animals in singing praise to God.

Purchase Song of Creation  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


ISBN: 978-0-8028-5445-2
42 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 10″ x 10″

Ages 6 to 10

A poetic story inspired by Psalm 121

Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.

Nikki Grimes takes the words of a Psalm 121 and masterfully transforms them into a golden shovel poem of compassion, friendship, and faith. Coupled with powerful artwork from Bryan Collier, this heartfelt story is one that readers will treasure.

Purchase The Watcher  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


When Daddy Prays Illustrated Kids Poems Books for kids poems poetry for young adultsWhen Daddy Prays

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5266-3
32 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 9.5 x 11.5

Ages 4-9
Full-color Illustrations Throughout

When Daddy prays
my fear of darkness disappears
and angels tiptoe down the hall.
I hear them through the door and wall . . .when Daddy prays.

In this collection of new poems by Nikki Grimes, a child learns about prayer from his father, whose prayers carry the family through each day — no matter what the circumstances.

Nikki Grimes believes that spirituality and prayer are signs of true strength and power. When Daddy Prays celebrates fathers who help their children see this. Nikki writes, “In my view there is no more powerful image than that of a strong man bowing before God.”

And illustrator Tim Ladwig has created remarkable images, rich with tenderness and touches of affectionate humor, to enhance and complete this exceptional book.

Purchase When Daddy prays  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.


ISBN: 978-0-8028-5505-3
40 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 8.5 x 8.5

Ages 4-8

In September, Mama Earth sighs out the first autumn frost, which crunches under children’s feet. Mama Earth looks after nature’s plants and animals throughout the year—singing lullabies to fat bears in the fall, dressing evergreens in icicles in winter, and waking up the crocuses in spring. And in the summer, Mama Earth sends warm sunbeams to her beloved children, so they can play outside and enjoy the amazing world around them.

With enchanting text and radiant artwork, A Year with Mama Earth offers a joyous celebration of nature’s beauty and the changing seasons.

Purchase A Year with Mama Earth  at Amazon,, Eerdmans, or your local  bookstore.