Young Poets

A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing that the month of April was National Poetry Month with a friend.  She said, "It makes sense that it would be in April though, because it is the time of Spring."  It never crossed my mind, April is the time of new things.  Take a moment to think about it..... rain comes and cleanses the Earth and gives things a new start. The birds chirp, the flowers bloom...................

At an early age, I started writing poetry.  I kept a small book and usually wrote poetry and short stories.  Poetry was a mental getaway for me, as I looked back I saw so many poems in that small notebook. I started to reminisce about how helpful they were during my childhood. Children can associate the greatness of poetry by seeing that it is the ability to inspire emotions and special pleasure through rhythms.  

The first National Poetry Month was held in 1996. The month helps honor publishers, booksellers, educators and literary organizations.  During this month, publishers often release and publicize their poetry works in April.  Also during this month, teachers and librarians like to focus on poetry units and famous poets. 

Through recent observation, I realized that we do not allow students enough time to express themselves. Teaching children about poetry at an early age awakens many types of interest and feelings. You can learn a lot from your students from just listening to their thoughts and ideas and how they understand the world. Recently, I discovered many literary works from poets that are design for young readers.  These books below deal with poetry and have diverse characters.  I hope you enjoy learning about them and consider them for your child or your own book collection. I also hope you encourage your children and/or your students to be young poets. 

  My People (Coretta Scott King Award - Illustrator Winner Title(s))
Charles R. Smith Jr. helps Langston Hughes and his beautiful words come alive.  Smith uses great photographs to show the beauty of being an African-American in today's society.

Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children
Poetic words help celebrate this amazing literary work.  Just like my people, photographs are used to show the beauty of being black in American.

  Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
This profound literary work has been around for many years and is also know as a classic.  Where the Sidewalk Ends, is one book that should be on every bookshelf.

  Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems
This clever book can be read from top to bottom to tell a story one way. Then, you can reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and the story takes a different turn.  This book is so much fun for kids, it takes poetry to a whole new level.

  Poetry for Young People: Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou is a true icon when it comes to literature.  So just imagine how excited I was when I discovered this book for young readers.  This book contains twenty-five of her finest poems.

  Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat (A Poetry Speaks Experience)
Hip-Hop is poetry with a beat.  This book helps children to understand that poems have rhythm and rhyme.  Read poems and hear songs by A Tribe Called Quest, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many more.

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku
This is a cute poetry story about a young boy who finds a cat and takes him home.  This story is told in Haiku.  Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

More Great Poetry Books With Diverse Characters 


  1. Shel Silverstein helped me learn to love poetry before I even understood what poetry was. I didn't know he was a poet, I just knew that he wrote things that I liked reading. :)

  2. I wasn't familiar with Shel Silverstein when I was younger, but I learned about him as I got older. I think he is eccentric, but I enjoy his literary works! Thank you for stopping by and sharing!


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