May We Suggest? This post contains recommendations from a CPL librarian. To get your own customized recommendation, just fill out the May We Suggest form — you can expect results within 10 days. All suggestions can be found on the May We Suggest blog or by liking May We Suggest on facebook.

Suggested Poetry by Grade Level


Here's some titles we recommend
The list is quite diverse
With picture books and collections
Haikus and novels in verse.


Take a look at the list and see
If there's anything you'd like to read.
It can be serious or silly
We've got something for you, guaranteed!


NOTE: Children read at different levels at different times in their lives. It is up to the child and their parent to determine which of these suggestions are appropriate for them.


Llama, llama red pajama by Anna Dewdney

At bedtime, a little llama worries after his mother puts him to bed and goes downstairs.

Monster needs a party by Paul Czajak

Disappointed when none of his friends can attend his pirate birthday, Monster cheers up when he goes to a pirate theme park, instead.

This collection of classic nursery rhymes features illustrations of scenes made from fabric and cloth.

Truckery rhymes by Jon Scieszka

Enjoy illustrated rhymes about the trucks that reside in Trucktown.

Bats at the library by Brian Lies

Bored with another normal, inky evening, bats discover an open library window and fly in to enjoy the photocopier, water fountain, and especially the books and stories found there.

First Grade

A collection of more than 200 short poems by both known and anonymous American and English authors.

In this alphabet rhyme book, find out what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.

The pout-pout fish by Deborah Diesen

The pout-pout fish believes he only knows how to frown, even though many of his friends suggest ways to change his expression, until one day a fish comes along that shows him otherwise.

Jon J. Muth and his delightful little panda bear, Koo, challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haiku poems about the four seasons.

In verse, Sam-I-am tells of the virtues of green eggs and ham.

Second Grade

Sail away by Langston Hughes

This selection of poems about the sea by the African American poet, Langston Hughes, celebrates waves, fishes, ships, the sea wind, and mermaids.

In this collection of humorous animal poems, couplet verses are accompanied by illustrations featuring shadow boxes, dioramas, and cut-paper collages.

Tap tap boom boom by Elizabeth Bluemle

As a thunderstorm sweeps into the city, the people of the neighborhood rush into the subway to wait out the wind and weather.

Well-known songs, including "Oh Susannah" and "Row Row Row Your Boat," are presented with new words and titles, such as "I'm So Carsick" and "Go Go Go to Bed".

This collection of haiku poetry for boys features poems about tree-climbing, kite-flying, and other related topics.

Third Grade

Gone fishing : a novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger

In this novel told through poems, nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad, so when his pesky little sister horns in on their fishing trip, he is none too pleased. The book includes a primer on rhyme, poetry techniques, rhythm, stanzas, and poetic forms.

Bubble trouble by Margaret Mahy

Mabel blows a bubble that captures Baby and wafts him away, resulting in a wild chase that involves the whole neighborhood.

This collection of poems based on a child's day-to-day experiences includes a puzzle at the end of each poem.

In this poetry collection, the short poems, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

Christopher Bing's magnificent version of Ernest Thayer's 1888 poem about the flailing 19th-century baseball star is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. Bing seamlessly weaves real and trompe l'oeil reproductions of artifacts-period baseball cards, tickets, advertisements, and a host of other memorabilia into the narrative to present a rich and multifaceted panorama of a bygone era.

Fourth Grade

Love that dog : a novel by Sharon Creech

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

This collection of poems describes the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.

Enjoy a collection of more than 130 original, never-before published poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein.

Presents poems highlighting Abraham Lincoln's superlative accomplishments, including being the most studious, having the strongest convictions, and giving the greatest speech.

This collection of poems celebrates the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.

Fifth Grade

Featuring beautiful illustrations, this book is considered by many to be the definitive anthology of children's poetry.

Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales feature surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after.

If- by Rudyard Kipling

The famously inspirational poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895, which first appeared in a 1910 collection of short stories and poems, is here accompanied by illustrations.

Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.

This collection of lively rhymes and tricky tongue twisters, poems for more than one voice, and bilingual poems features a wide variety of works, from classic Shakespeare and Lear to anonymous rhymes to contemporary riffs on everything under the sun. These poems just might inspire kids to memorize them.

Sixth Grade

The crossover by Kwame Alexander

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

A series of poems describes all the baffling changes at home and at school in twelve-year-old Joylin's transition from tomboy basketball player to not-quite-girly girl.

Paul Revere's ride : the landlord's tale by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Written almost 150 years ago, Longfellow's stirring tale about Paul Revere's famous ride still resonates today. Now acclaimed artist Santore captures the spirit of Longfellow's powerful words and brings the poem to life with his own breathtaking full color illustrations.

Emily Dickinson by 1830-1886 Emily Dickinson

Introduces younger audiences to the poetry of Emily Dickinson through thirty-five signature works complemented by explanatory text, definitions of important words, and illustrations.

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