World Read-Aloud Day Coming — How About Poetry?

Wednesday is World Read-Aloud Day. In thinking about books appropriate for reading out loud, I landed on poetry as the one literary form I’d rather listen to than read silently. Poems have rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, and many other sound qualities that make them ripe for a voice full of enthusiasm, enunciation, and emotion. Here are some great poetry books to get your hands on before Wednesday!

2959615Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems, by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Meilo So, features beautiful strings of words along with soft, rich watercolor paintings, describing everything from tide pools and jellyfish to sharks and shipwrecks. The rich descriptions of the ocean’s creatures and elements not only entertain but also teach the very young about different players in the earth’s largest bodies of water. (9780811872843. 2012. Gr PS-3.)

Shiver Me Timbers! Pirate Poems & Paintings, by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Robert Neubecker, uses rich language and 3034578wave-bouncing pirate dialect to create lively poems about a topic children love. Neubecker’s fun illustrations help bring the poems to life. This poetry picture book isn’t just fun–it’s also an adventure in pirate vocabulary and a great starting point for demonstrating voice in a writing lesson. (9781442413214. 2012. Gr 2-5.)

3206995Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice, edited by Gail Bush & Randy Meyer, is a collection of poems written by a wide variety of well-known poets, from Langston Hughes and Pat Mora to Billy Collins and Joy Harjo. While it addresses the subject of social inequity, the anthology also points out what is just and right, ending with a poem by William Stafford entitled “Being a Person.” The book ends with a Biographical Notes section that provides anecdotal information about each poet (although it does contain a disclaimer that the notes are “certifiably uncertified”). (9781603574174. 2013. Gr 7-adult.)

Other poetry books you may wish to consider:

In the Sea by David Elliott and illustrated by Holly Meade (9780763644987. 2012. Gr PS-2.)

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse (companion to Mirror, Mirror) (9780803737693. 2013. Gr 2-6.)

Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems by Georgia Heard and illustrated by Antoine Guillope (9781596436657. 2012. Gr 4-6.)

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders by J. Patrick Lewis (9781452101194. 2013. Gr 4-7.)

Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing by Gary Soto (9780547577371. 2012. Gr 7-12.) 





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