Reading in the Rain: Books for Kids -- Poetry

School has started and everyone is busy, busy, busy. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a moment to share some words with your kids. This is the perfect time to bring some poetry into their lives. Whether it’s flying a kite, raking leaves, playing with a sibling, walking down a city street, or watching the colors change with the seasons, kids will find the short poems in this week’s picks familiar. You can read these books cover to cover or try adding poetry into your life one poem at a time. Slip a poem into your child’s lunch, write a poem on a Post-It note and stick it to the bathroom mirror, or invite a different family member to read a poem after dinner.


Currently, King County Library System (KCLS) has copies of these books in their catalog.


Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Bob Raczka, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 978-0547240039


This collection of 24 haikus is divided into sections for each of the four seasons, starting with spring and ending with winter. As well as being concise and clever observations, many of the poems conclude with a snappy punch line. By turns mischievous, playful, thoughtful, and serious, the boys celebrate the joys of nature and boyhood.



Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman, Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 978-0547014944


Winner of the 2010 Caldecott Award, this collection of poems is organized by season, beginning with spring and ending with winter. Each poem focuses on the ways that colors interact with the world or with each other. The non-rhyming poems are filled with evocative imagery and the illustrations sweep the reader along from season to season.


City I Love by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Illustrated by Marcellus Hall

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 978-0810983274


This collection of 18 poems takes the reader on a journey to cities around the world. With his backpack in tow a small brown dog travels the world observing as he goes. From New York to Cairo, Moscow to Rio De Janeiro, cities everywhere are celebrated. Some poems are short; just a few carefully chosen words convey a world of meaning. While others are longer; with phrases that sing like a repeating chorus.