April is here, which means it’s time to celebrate National Poetry Month with your little ones. National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States, and here at Watch Me Grow Las Vegas, we love to revel in all things rhythm and rhyme when it comes to this very special time of the year. In this blog post, we share ten of our favorite poetry books to read with young children to help them develop a love of poetry at an early age.

Seasonal activities are only one of the reasons why children love going to daycare at Watch Me Grow Las Vegas. Our early childhood education center provides children with a range of fun and educational activities, including art time, puppetry, reading, outdoor play, science, and more. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (3 to 5 years old), as well as before and after school programs and summer camp for 5 to 12-year-olds. Read on to learn about some of our most beloved children’s poetry books, then schedule a tour of our state-of-the-art facility. 

Wee Rhymes: Baby’s First Poetry Book

by Jane Yolen and Jane Dyer (illustrator)

This classic book of rhyming verse by beloved author Jane Yolen features more than fifty original poems that celebrate each part of a baby’s daily routine. From bathtime to naptime, every moment of an infant’s day is celebrated in fun, short rhymes accompanied by gentle illustrations. 

Fox in Socks

by Dr. Seuss

While we technically could have included any title here by children’s book heavyweight Dr. Seuss, we chose Fox in Socks because it is great for children of all ages. Featuring Dr. Seuss’s trademark whimsy and colorful illustrations, Fox in Socks is the perfect book for introducing your little one to rhyming.

Haiku Baby

by Betsy E. Snyder

This board book follows a tiny bluebird as it visits its animal companions. Told in bright pictures and six beautiful haikus, Haiku Baby finishes up with a visit to the moon, making it ideal for bedtime storytelling. Index tabs on the book’s right margin make it easy for babies and toddlers to flip through the pages on their own. 

Eric Carle’s Animals Animals

by Laura Whipple (compiler) and Eric Carle (illustrator)

Featuring classic animal poems from famous writers, such as Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, and others, alongside the iconic collages of Eric Carle, Eric Carle’s Animal Animals is a colorful celebration of all of Earth’s creatures. 

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems 

by Donald Hall (compiler)

In this compilation, renowned poet Donald Hall collects some of the most beloved children’s verses of the last several centuries and accompanies them with classic children’s book illustrations, including archival selections from rare and early editions. It makes for a journey back in time that will allow your child to discover such famous American authors as Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Sonia Sanchez, and more. 

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

by Jack Prelutsky (compiler) and Arnold Lobel (illustrator)

In this title, children’s book powerhouses Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel (the Caldecott-winning illustrator of the Frog and Toad series) join forces to deliver a vibrant, fun collection of nearly 600 classic children’s poems. From Shel Silverstein, to Edward Lear, to Gwendolyn Brooks, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children features so many beloved bards that your child is sure to find a poem they connect with.

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

by Jack Prelutsky (compiler) and Marc Brown (illustrator)

This acclaimed anthology once again features poet Jack Prelutsky collecting some of the most cherished children’s poems of the 20th-century. This large volume also features the drawings of Arthur author and illustrator Marc Brown, making for a colorful, engaging collection appropriate for children of all ages.

The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury

by Jack Prelutsky (compiler) and Meilo So (illustrator)

If you simply can’t get enough of former Young People’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky (and let’s face it — who can?), then you’ll love this treasury of 211 contemporary children’s poems, accompanied by the lush watercolor illustrations of Meilo So. Featuring food fights, sibling rivalries, imaginary animals, and so much more, this collection is a must-have for any child in love with language.

Sing a Song of Popcorn

by Mary Michaels White et. al.

This stunning tribute to children’s poetry and illustrations features nine Caldecott medalists, including Maurice Sendak, Arnold Lobel, Marcia Brown, and others. Breathtaking illustrations accompany more than 100 poems, arranged in categories such as “Spooky Poems,” “Mostly Nonsense,” and more. The perfect book for finding a poem to fit any occasion, Sing a Song of Popcorn is sure to become a favorite on your child’s bookshelf. 

A Child’s Garden of Verses 

by Robert Louis Stevenson

No list of children’s poetry books would be complete without A Children’s Garden of Verses  by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such classics as Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and more. Containing 65 poems about childhood, this classic book covers the gamut of what it’s like to grow up, including everything from solitude to friendship, play to grief, and much, much more.

Set Your Child Up for Success at Watch Me Grow Las Vegas

If you live in Las Vegas and are ready to give your child a lifelong love of learning, get in touch with our daycare center today. Our team of trained child care professionals will be happy to help your little one discover the wonders of poetry and so much more. Schedule a tour of our state-of-the-art facility now.