Of all written and published poetry, I sometimes think that the little ones have it best. You don't have to work your brain too hard to figure out what the poem is about, and most books written in poetry for children have the wonderful benefit of being practically singable. I love reading books to my children that have fabulous rhyme and rhythm and meter.
But even among the toddling set, not all poetry is created equal. Some of our favorites in this house include:
All of Karma Wilson's Bear books are fabulous. This particular one has been read so often that the cover is partly chewed off and, quite honestly, if you call me I'll recite it to you right now. I love these books to the point of green-eyed monster -- the illustrations are fabulous and the meter and rhyme superb!
We're new to this series and were introduced by a friend. Thank you friend! They have a great message and I didn't know that you could rhyme llama quite that much! They also illustrate real-life behavioral situations. I mean, look at that title -- that says it all some days!
Last but not least, Nancy Shaw's Sheep series. This group of sheep falls into disaster in every book and you nearly will with rhyme that borders on tongue-twister. Just this week I found one at our local library that involved aliens and that is the current favorite of the sheep books.
I've just realized another theme though. All of these have to do with animals! I know there are so many children's books out there with great rhyme and meter -- leave me your suggestions so I can find more! But in the meantime, my 3-year old who adores animals asks for these over and over.
And you can't go wrong reading good books over and over. Poetry or not.