These poignant, engaging and funny books are sure to inspire a lifelong love of poetry in children. Featuring beloved poets both classic and contemporary, including T. S. Eliot and Michael Rosen, see below for some of the very best poetry books for children, ordered by target age.
This exuberant collection of poetry fizzes with rhythm, energy and laughter. Bestselling poet Michael Rosen captures once again what it's like to be very young, evoking all the perceptions and feelings experienced in a child's world: toys and games, animals and imaginary creatures, likes and dislikes. He does so in a fantastically playful and lively style, and his wonderful verse is complemented perfectly by Chris Riddell's iconic illustrations. This book can be enjoyed by the whole family, and is sure to become a classic.
Elizabeth Hammill | 3+
This collection includes more than 150 rhymes from all over the English-speaking world, from Great Britain to Ghana, Canada to the Caribbean. It features beloved nursery rhymes as well as brand new much-loved poems. Each double-page spread features illustrations by a different artist, totalling over 76 individual artists. The book is filled with works by international award-winners and bestselling illustrators as well as fresh, flourishing talent. A true poetic journey around the world, this sumptuous book will captivate young readers.
Roald Dahl | 5+
In this riotous read, Roald Dahl dispenses with happily ever afters and opts for more horrible endings as he retells six famous fairy-tales. Cinderella chooses not to marry the prince when he reveals a surprisingly cruel streak. Snow White befriends seven jockeys who are compulsive gamblers, and Goldilocks proves to be a real thug! This hilarious poetry book will have readers in stitches.
First published in 1907, this classic cautionary tale follows a young boy called Jim, who runs away from his nurse and is eaten by a lion! This darkly funny poem will enthral children and features the wonderful illustrations of Mini Grey.
If you love cats, you'll love this book! Some cats are sane, some are crazy, some are good and some are bad. Meet the cast of cats that inspired the West End musical in these wonderful original poems, including the magical Mr Mistoffelees, sleepy Old Deuteronomy and curious Rum Tum Tugger.
This magnificent collection features 366 poems, one to share every night of the year. Each poem features an introductory paragraph and has a connection with the date on which it appears. Shakespeare celebrates midsummer night, Lewis Carroll's wacky verse arrives on April Fool's Day, and Maya Angelou can be found on International Women's Day. From familiar favourites to exciting up-and-coming talent, the book includes poems from A. A. Milne, Christina Rossetti, Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin Zephaniah.
This wonderfully fun and inspiring collection features a diverse variety of fantastic poems, including classics from Shakespeare and Wordsworth, as well as stunning contemporary poems. Perfect for dipping into or for immersing yourself in, both children and adults will love this book.
Eleanor & Herbert Farjeon
Featuring gorgeous illustrations by Robin Jacques, this brilliantly funny collection features all forty-one English kings and queens since William I. It has delighted young readers and adults for generations, making history a whole lot of fun!
This beautiful collection features more than 100 of the very best children's poems by Brian Moses, one of Britain's favourite poets. Discover the delights of 'Aliens Stole My Underpants', 'Lost Magic', 'The Sssnake Hotel', 'Walking with My Iguana' and many more. Children are sure to be inspired, moved... and laughing their socks off!
This gorgeous book is an exciting introduction to the wacky world of Edward Lear, the creator of 'The Owl and the Pussy-cat'. The book includes his most famous poems, as well as less familiar works that are nonetheless equally magical. The poems are complemented by John Vernon Lord's stunning illustrations, which capture the spirit and satire of Lear's work perfectly. Children will be captivated and amused by this brilliantly nonsensical collection.