If your home library is sorely lacking in the poetry genre, this list solves the problem with 11 anthologies. Each book will appeal to all ages from young children to adults.
Whether you are looking for fodder for memorization or simply want to boost exposure to poetic language, any one of these volumes will work.
If poetry isn't a favorite of yours, that's even more reason to make sure your shelves have a few extra poetry books. You wouldn't want your own bias to prevent your kids from learning to love the wonders of rhyme, meter, and rhythm.
Don't underestimate your children's ear for poetry. Little kids typically love poetry because they are able to appreciate the musicality of it even if the meaning is unclear. Upper elementary children can start to identify the different poetic forms, rhyme patterns, and figures of speech. High schoolers will grow in literary analysis and be able to dissect a poet's meaning.
Regardless your children's age, these poetry anthologies for kids will help your entire family develop an appreciation for how poetry uses language to paint a picture.
1. A Treasury of Poetry for Young People
by Brod Bagert, Francis Bolin, et al
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature 100
This book of classic poems for students is a treasury of more than 150 works by six of America's finest poets:
It's beautifully illustrated, too.
2. 100 Best-Loved Poems
edited by Philip Smith
from Sonlight's American Government and Economics
This poetry collection includes some of the best-loved English and American verse of all time:
- Rudyard Kipling's If
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Village Blacksmith
- John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn
and many other classics that ensure hours of enjoyment, whether read solo or shared aloud as a family.
3. All the Small Poems: And Fourteen More
by Valerie Worth
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature F
This award-winning collection of poems presents everyday objects in a thought-provoking new light. That is, after all, exactly what poetry is so adept at doing!
Frost, for instance, is likened to a jungle plant with "lacy fronds and plumes and tendrils." Expand your appreciation of metaphor, personification, and other poetic devices with this delightful anthology.
4. Favorite Poems Old and New
edited by Helen Ferris
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature G
This is a stunning collection of more than 700 poems, spanning the centuries from the Bible to the first half of the 20th century.
Your children will be exposed to all poetic styles and all interests—from light verse to epics and the foolish to the sublime.
5. National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry
edited by J. Patrick Lewis
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature B
This poetry anthology is a gorgeous collection of poems with jaw-dropping National Geographic photography throughout.
Just the photo of the eagle in flight with Tennyson's The Eagle is worth the price of the book. The whole thing is absolutely stunning.
6. Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems
edited by Donald Hall
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature E
This poetry anthology packs a big impact. You get both serious and playful poems, all illustrated with full-color graphics.
The works are arranged according to the birth dates of the authors, beginning with anonymous native Americans and continuing to the present day.
7. Cornstalks: A Bushel of Poems
by James Stevenson
from Sonlight's History / Bible / Literature C
Explore the ordinary from fresh new angles with four of James Stevenson's beloved corn poem books in one special volume.
These fun poems and whimsical pictures help you see the beauty and wonder in seemingly mundane objects.
8. A Child’s Anthology of Poetry
edited by Elizabeth Hauge Sword
from Sonlight's History of the Christian Church
Let your voice shine as you read this anthology of poetry aloud together. The entire family will savor the over two hundred great works in one rich volume. Authors include
You will especially revel in the exquisitely translated haiku of Kobayashi Issa.
9. Robert Frost’s Poems
by Robert Frost
from Sonlight's 20th Century World History
Because of his accessibility and pleasing depictions of rural life, Frost is, perhaps, one of the most appealing of the 20th century poets.
Enjoy all of the master poet's best-loved works, and dozens more. This thorough Robert Frost anthology (over 100 poems) is be a home library essential. Be sure to get it.
10. Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation
edited by Robert Housden
from Sonlight's World History and Worldview Studies
This luminous anthology brings together great poets from around the world whose work transcends culture and time. Their words reach past the outer divisions to the universal currents of love and revelation that move and inspire us all.
These poems urge us to wake up and love. They also call on us to relinquish our grip on ideas and opinions that confine us and, instead, to risk moving forward into the life that is truly ours.
11. Eric Carle’s Animals Animals
by Eric Carle
from Sonlight's Pre-Kindergarten Package
In this riveting volume, Eric Carle's wonderfully colorful collages celebrate the diversity of the earth's animals. Your children will probably love the illustrations as much as the poetry!
The verse is poems and lyrics from sources as diverse as the Bible, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, Ogden Nash, Japanese haiku, and others. It's a perfect poetry anthology for your youngest learners.
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