Poetry Teatime Titles

In response to a BW Mom’s question, this entry features poetry books our family has enjoyed during our teatimes.

I’ve listed some great teatime poetry book titles on the website here. The Read-Aloud Poems for Young People is our favorite and we use it every week.

There is a series of poetry books that features great poets with gorgeous illustrations that we regularly check out from the library: Poetry for Young People. This series features Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Rudyard Kipling, Langston Hughes, Lewis Carroll and other poets of equally prominent stature in single volumes. I love the illustrations and the wonderful choices of poems selected for children. I can’t recommend these highly enough. My favorite is the Rudyard Kipling edition.

You can’t go wrong with:

Jack Prelutsky

Shel Silverstein

Jamberry by Bruce Degen is a delightful romp through nonsense language.

When I go to Half Price Books, I check out the poetry section because often you can find nice anthologies of specific poets for really good prices. I picked up a collection of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that way.

Liam’s favorite poetry book is Great Short Poems, by Dover. We’ve got two copies and they are almost worn out.

My favorite poetry anthology: Americans’ Favorite Poems.

For moms who want to read poetry when they drink tea quietly (while babies nap or teens go to work), here are two female poets I especially enjoy for my own pleasure and edification:

Mary Oliver’s House of Light

Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise

I know you all have favorites too, so please list the ones your family enjoys in the comments section. Include titles and authors so we can easily look them up!

UPDATE: You’ll also find more suggestions on our Poetry Teatime Pinterest board.

14 Responses to “Poetry Teatime Titles”

  1. Rachel says:

    We love poems at teatime. Since beginning teatime we have found poems everywhere.
    We have a large collection of Shel Silverstein books as well as these two titles which comprise our most used books list: “When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six” by A.A. Milne, “A Child’s Anthology of Poetry” edited by Elizabeth Hauge Sword.
    We have borrowed books from our library quite a bit for teatime. We also have subscriptions to Cricket Magazine and Spider Magazine. We find plenty of poems in those.
    The kids find poems though…everywhere! Last week one of my sons recited the lyrics to a song for teatime. He’s been wearing the song out on his iPod so reciting was no problem!
    My children have been inspired to write their own poems to share for teatime too. I was very surprised to see teenage boys writing poems on their own to share with us at teatime…this was never a suggestion or assignment…it’s just part of our new BraveWriter lifestyle! Thanks so much Julie!

    ~Rachel in NH

  2. Desiree says:

    So you’re a fellow Jane Kanyon fan! Her poems are conversational — I love the simplicity of her language and at the same time the depth of her insight into creation, human nature…life. I will have to check out a couple of her collections ( again!) next time I’m at the library.

    Thank you for all you do,


  3. Tara says:

    We have actually accumulated a reasonably sized collection of poetry since we’ve started our teatimes. (My sisters are wonderful about purchasing such items for the kids for Christmas.) 🙂 Also…I have 4 children – the top three are boys….so Jack Pretlusky is a BIG hit at our house. They read at least some selections from his poetry every time.

    Here are a few that I also enjoy:
    Poems to read to the very young (Nice illustrations and rather short poems for the young)
    A Family of Poems compiled by Caroline Kennedy (A large range of poems, including a couple written by Jacqueline Bovier)
    Poetry Speaks for Children (Another compilation – but this one comes with a CD and some of the poems are read by the author. Very cool!)

    Finally, we have a few selections that are subject focused. One is called “Winter Poems” – another is “Antarctic Antics” – all about penguins – and another is “Pass It On” which is a compilation of poems from African-American Poets. I found several of these from Scholastic or yard sales.

    Also…don’t forget that many stories that are in prose form are still great to read. 🙂 We always read “The Night Before Christmas” at a teatime in the Christmas season. My little one loves to read the Jesse Bear books – or any other rhyming story – during teatime.

    I agree that the library is always a good place to find new selections, especially those that you might want to try out a few times before you decide if it’s one you want to add to your collection. 🙂

    Don’t forget the internet. We’ve been studying China so I just googled “Chinese Poetry” and found some great stuff. That was a teatime breakfast last week. 🙂

    Thanks again, Julie – teatime is something that is ALWAYS looked forward to at our house!


  4. Michelle O says:

    Harp and Laurel Wreath Includes some dictation passages too. by
    Laura M Berquist
    Sung Under the Silver Umbrella Poems for Young Children Illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop
    A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme Heather Thomas This book covers such topics as Morning, Evening, Finger Games, Fables, Farming, Numbers, TongueTwisters, Parts of Speech, Alliteration, Nature, Seasons, History, Shakespeare and more.
    Favorite Poems for Children

  5. Julie Bogart says:

    Good titles ladies!

    I’m glad there’s another Jane Kenyon fan in the house. Her direct language is refreshing.

    The reminder to google poetry is also a great suggestion. We have done that many times when we’re in the middle of a specific topic of study. And I forgot to mention that our library has a twice annual poetry slam for high schoolers. These are not too difficult to create yourself, if you don’t have them in your area.

    In fact, that might be a nice blog topic for the future. Basically a poetry slam is a space with a mike, lots of people and a couple of hours set aside to invite people to read poems or to read their original work to an audience. Our library’s version was such a revelation to my oldest two kids. Their own poetry went from bunnies and skateboards to themes like death and being handi-capped. (I know – teens love to go for that painful stuff in order to feel profound.)

    In any case, great suggestions. Keep them coming!

  6. Julia S. says:

    I just got John Lithgow’s “Poet’s Corner: The one and only poetry book for the whole family” it compiled by Lithgow and although I can’t imagine only owning just one book of poems it’s a pretty great book with a short biography of the poet (I learned somethings I didn’t know) and some of their better known poetry. It has an MP3 disc with actors/actresses reading some of the poems too.

    “Here’s a Little Poem” compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters It is great for little guys and the illustrations by Polly Dunbar are very sweet.

  7. Susanne says:

    Our favorite poetry anthologies are:

    For elementary (all illustrated):

    Eric Carle’s Animals, Animals (ISBN 0399217444)

    The Children’s Classic Poetry Collection (ISBN 0765197456)

    Talking Like the Rain: A First Book of Poems (ISBN 0316488895)

    For late elementary, junior high and high school:

    Favorite Poems Old and New (ISBN 0385076967) — sold in Sonlight levels 6 & 7

  8. Jennifer W. says:

    We love the poetry from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and we have a really fun collection by AA Milne. Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein are also favorites – we love silly stuff!

    For my own reading, I just discovered Billy Collins. I got two of his collections from the library and I am totally enjoying them. I am almost inspired to write my own – he makes it seem so natural. Just like those Olympic athletes! :p

  9. Bet says:

    Add me to the Jane Kenyon fan club! I have been addicted to her poetry ever since I first discovered her (probably in Garrison Keillor’s *Good Poems*).

    I have so many anthologies that I have a hard time listing my favorites. But for family reading:

    *A New Treasury of Poetry* compiled by Neil Phillip, and with lovely woodcut illustrations

    *Favorite Poems Old and New* Helen Ferris

    *The Classic Hundred Poems* Harmon

    *A Treasury of Poetry for Young People*

    *Poetry for the Soul: 700 Best Loved Christian Poems* (I think this one is out of print, unfortunately)

    One of our favorite things to listen to: “Billy Collins Live” (sooooo funny!)

    For myself:
    *Jane Kenyon: Collected Poems*

    *Faith in Her Words: Six Centuries of Women’s Poetry* compiled by Veronica Zundel (also OP, I believe)

    George Herbert

    Christina Rossetti

    Denise Levertov

    And many more….

  10. Galen Roll says:

    One I LOVE: for younger kids, and elicits chuckles and affirming nods from the rest of us:

    Days Like This, A Collection of Small Poems, compiled by Simon James.

    A child’s perspective on the fast pace of modern adult life is heard in Eve Merriam’s “A Lazy Thought”…included in this book…as well as other little philosophical and playful treasures.
    My daughter has chosen copy-work from this book a few times.

  11. Lora says:

    Has anyone ever heard of Doulgas Florian??????
    He is excellent at playing with words……Insectlopedia, Zoo’s Who, Autumnblings, Handsprings and more

  12. Liz DeRoos says:

    Poem a Day, Vol. 1 has a poem and poet bios for every day of the year–a variety of classic and contemporary. My kids hooted over finding the poem associated with their birthday, as there were uncanny associations between the poem and the child!

    Americans’ Favorite Poems had poems that resonated with me.

    For my boys I try to find sport poems, funny poems,….

  13. Dawn says:

    Sing a Song of Popcorn is one my 5yo dd and I discovered. It has one of Pooh’s rhymes in it and quite a variety of forms and styles, all beautifully illustrated. It’s divided into section by illustrator and has a bio of each illustrator in the back with at least some of them relating to the particular poems illustrated.

    This little girl’s delight in poetry is a joy to my heart. She seeks out and reads the poetry library books on her own. She writes her own little short stories, too, in a journal. No one but her can read them because of letter construction, spacing, and spelling errors, but when she reads them to me, I can make it out on the page.

    Anyway, A. A. Milne’s World of Christopher Robin, of course, Shel Silverstein, a second to Jamberry, and others.