– Arnold Adoff
– Tracy K. Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate (2017 – )
9 New Poetry Books (2018 Mostly)
A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
I am the biggest fan of Sergio Ruzzier’s illustrations. Once again, his art totally captures the essence of the poetic text, in this case, the life of robins. First, the robin parents build a nest, then guard their eggs, and eventually raise their baby birds to be independent. The rhyming poems are joyful, playful, and fun to read out loud. Teachers, you’ll love using these poems in your writing workshop. Vibrant action verbs capture the lives of this bird family, “Jumble, jostle, rumble, squirm” or “Wiggle, ship / Squiggle, slip“. (Added to: Beautiful Books About Birds)
In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Aptly-oversized to reflect many of the gigantic creatures within, this book of poems with gorgeous illustrations celebrate prehistoric creatures. Creatures like the weird-looking dunkleosteus or terrifying yutyrannus. Some of these creatures you’ll know but many will be new. The text is very accessible. Each creature includes their scientific name plus the geologic time line in which they lived. SO cool, right?
No birds yet.
Only you in the sky.
the giant dragonfly!”
Added to: The Best Dinosaur Books for Kids
H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi
I love the presentation of these alphabetical haiku poems — from the bold typeface to the exuberant illustrations. Rosenberg’s topics celebrate the little moments in life; specifically, life in New York City. Moments like wrinkled leaves in a puddle, children carrying umbrellas, or squirrels munching on acorns. These haiku poems show that poems can be about anything. Use these to see the world differently and to celebrate life’s small events.
Petals falling in her hair —
Did You Hear What I Heard? Poems About School by Kay Winters, illustrated by Patrice Barton
The Horse’s Haiku by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Stan Fellows
Lovely earth-toned watercolors accompany haiku poems all about horses. Horse lovers like me know these scenes — rolling around in the dusty field, the clip-clop of hooves in the barn, and the wet chest after a day’s ride.
With My Hands: Poems About Making Things by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrations by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
Celebrate the makers! “I am making / something new / with my hands / my head / my heart. / That’s what makers do.” From the artists who paint and sculpt to the builders who make boats and space ships, these will give kids inspiration to make wonderful, creative things like soap carvings and tie-dye shirts. And, I love the subject of these poems — the inventive things kids make in childhood. “I roll and stack / my snowman / whisper-white / and fat.”
Earth Verse Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M. Walker, illustrated by William Grill
In the Land of Words: New and Selected Poems by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Read poems about words, poems, books, story, and more. “Poem, you caught me / by surprise.” For some of the poems, Greenfield shares background about writing each poem which is interesting.
One Last Word by Nikki Grimes
Teachers, use this book in your classroom to teach the “Golden Shovel” poetic form. It’s SO creative. And, the poems in this small book are stunning, filled with wisdom and relatable life stories. Grimes takes a line from a Harlem Renaissance poem then uses the words to create a new poem.