Big-Hearted Books of Poetry for the Whole Family

a growing list of picture book poetry from DoingGoodTogether.org

Explore big ideas through poetry.

Whether they are playful or introspective, poems offers a unique perspective on the world around us. Challenge kids - and yourself - to discover poetry that speaks to you. Then share it with others in magic mail designed to spread cheer and comfort.


Conversation Starters

  • What is poetry?

  • After reading a book of poetry, which poem was your favorite? Why?

  • Which poem did you find confusing? Let's see if we can make sense of it together.

  • Look for a poem that evokes a strong emotion in your child. Notice together how simple words in a relatively short poem can have such a strong impact.

  • Together find a poem you would enjoy sharing with someone who could use some comfort. Create a greeting card featuring this poem and share it.

A Light in the Attic and essentially everything written by Shel Silverstein.
Nothing else compares to the always silly, sometimes icky, and often deeper-than-they-appear poems by the incomparable Shel Silverstein.

All the Wild Wonders by Wendy Cooling
This collection of poetry features poets all around the world. It's designed to help students think critically about issues facing the environment and to encourage them to work toward a brighter future. 

A Poke in the I, A Kick in the Head, and A Foot in the Mouth, all by Paul B. Jeneczko
All three of these books explore poetry in unique ways. Even better, they subtlety call attention to important social issues or big-hearted ideas that are sure to spark creative conversations with your family.

Feathers by Eileen Spinelli
This collection is as lyrical and charming as its subject matter. Explore the bird world with creative, funny, and beautiful poems that just might inspire your to burst into song!

Food Fight: Poets Join the Fight Against Hunger with Poems to Favorite Food edited and illustrated by Michael J. Rosen
Thirty-three children’s poets contribute to the fight against hunger by penning poems about food. Read odes to pies, pizzas, and matzo ball soup.

If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky
This haiku collection is one part calming meditation, one part poetic gymnastics. This is a family favorite for our blogger!

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Joel Fleishman and Eric Beddows
This award-winning collection is especially fun with a proud new reader. Celebrate the boisterous cacophony of the natural world through poetry together.

Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Maryln Singer
Fairy tale scenes are re-imagined from two perspectives with a unique technique that you'll have to read to believe.

Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George.
This inspiring collection of tree poems is one part meditation and one part playful exploration of our stately neighbors.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Yes, Silverstein is such a giant in children's poetry, he deserves at least two shout outs. This classic tale doubles as a poem, perfect for igniting big conversations about selflessness versus selfishness, feelings, phases of life, and what makes us feel content.

The Tree that Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination (A Poetry Speaks Experience) by Linda Winston, Mary Ann Hoberman, and Barbara Fortin.
This anthology of nature inspired poems is sure to inspire and engage your child with the outdoors in unexpected ways.

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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.