Poetry gets a really bad rap. Parents often shudder while remembering painstakingly combing through each line to dissect the meaning of a poem in high school. And kids? They just think of it as being boooooo-ring—which is pretty much the worst thing something could be for a kid.
But it doesn’t have to be!
Poetry can be really, really awesome and absolutely hilarious! Brightly (a great online resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers) recently published a post called Poetry Is Actually Kinda Cool: Great Poetry Books for Reluctant Poetry Readers. The list is fabulous and includes hilarious, well-loved poets like Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and Roald Dahl. Since I loved their list so much, I thought I’d expand on it and offer you guys a few more funny poetry books for kids that you and your family will love—mostly because they’re laugh-out-loud funny and utterly ridiculous.
These poetry books for kids are great for reading together when you have little spurts of down time (like when you’re waiting at a doctor’s office), to giggle through on long car rides or to pull out when everyone is starting to meltdown. A little time out to read something super silly is the perfect medicine for moodiness (yours included!).
Mumbles Grumbles and Assorted Worries by John DeAmicis
This one doesn’t seem to be available in many places, but we grabbed a copy at our local library. The author, John DeAmicis, describes it as “a guide for those who are serious about being silly.” And it’s really silly. With poems with titles like “Ducks in Underwear,” “Timmy the Dancing Clam,” and “Conversation with the Cat,” you can’t really go wrong. And the simple, funny line drawings add to this book’s appeal.
This book pulls school-aged kids in by centering around a subject they know well: school. Full of silliness, it tackles humorous situations like why Jim’s book bag is moving, who murdered the class goldfish, and how a boy drove his teacher bonkers. Short and sweet, these poems are a great way to introduce the genre to kids who are a little reluctant.
The poems in this book are very short and absolutely perfect for young kids. They cracked my five year old up. Take “I See a Lot of Me in My Daddy:”
I see a lot of me in my daddy,
especially when I jump into his bed,
and I snuggle up real close,
and see my reflection in his
If You Were a Chocolate Mustache by J. Patrick Lewis
I love this collection for introducing kids to a wide range of poetry. It contains everything from riddles, limericks, nonsense rhymes and parodies to anagrams, story poems, haiku, and more. Incredibly imaginative and paired with hilarious drawings, I dare you to find me a kid who doesn’t chuckle at these.
Lunch Money and Other Poems About School by Carol Diggory Shields
This funny collection is a great way to bridge from the rhyming, rhythmic picture books of the preschool set (like the always funny and incredible Sandra Boynton’s stories) to poetry for kids a little bit older. Still full of rhymes and sing-song rhythm, the poems in this collection just deal with issues older kids are familiar with: zany day-to-day events at school.
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Lastly, while the Brightly article also mentions Shel Silverstein, I couldn’t possibly put together a list of kids poetry books without including him. You just can’t talk about poetry for children without including his awesomeness. They’re funny and quirky and catch you off guard again and again. They’ll make kidskids think and make them laugh… and will make it impossible for them to dislike poetry.
Brightly would like to offer one lucky reader a tote bag and two books featured in their posts about poetry for National Poetry Month. All you need to do is leave a comment here with your favorite poetry book for kids. Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram gets extra entries (just leave the name you follow under in separate comments). I’ll choose a winner next Monday, April 25th. THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.
And if you don’t get Brightly’s newsletter, which can be customized to receive content just right for your child’s age and stage, I highly recommend it!
PS have you gotten my free printable of must-read children’s books?