Poetry and Kids: Celebrating National Poetry Month

April 9, 2018 | RayL

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Children Reading

Photo Courtesy of Toronto Star Archives


National Poetry Month

Every April, we celebrate National Poetry Month. Since 1999, The League of Canadian Poets have marked the month with a series of events. In past years, the annual celebration has had a special theme, however there is no theme this year; instead it will be a celebration of 20 years of National Poetry Month. 

What is Poetry?

Britannica defines poetry as "literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm." There are over 50 different types of poetry from allegory to Terza Rima. Your child may have come across haikus and limericks as those are the more common types of poems appearing in children's picture books. Limericks are poems where lines one, two and five rhyme with each other and lines three and four also rhyme with each other. Haikus are poems that have five, seven and five syllables over three lines. 

Exploring Poetry with Younger Children

Nursery rhymes are an excellent way to introduce younger children to the concept of rhyming. You can find some nursery rhymes on our Ready for Reading website. Rhymes are one of the many ways poems are structured. Poems that rhyme can be thoughtful, silly or both! Consider working with your child to write a short story and together shorten it into a short poem. Perhaps it could be an easy rhyme or a nice haiku.  

Library Books and Programs

Here are some great children's books to celebrate this wonderful written form. To celebrate National Poetry Month, some branches are offering poetry themed children's programs.

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Ages: 5+)


The Bill Martin Jr. big book of poetry

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry by Bill Martin Jr.  (Ages: 7+)


Revolting Rhymes

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl (Ages: 8+)


Animal Ark

Animal Ark by Kwame Alexander (Ages: 4+)