books, picture books

Great Poetry Picture Books

I am spending most of the day in my classroom getting it ready for after spring break.  As I thought of what picture books to display I immediately knew that I had to celebrate April which is poetry month.  So as I pulled all of our favorite poetry(ish) picture books to put them on display, I thought I should share what my students will hopefully be enticed to read.  Please add your favorites as well.  These are in no particular order.


Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Jim LaMarche

The Big Box by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, illustrated by Giselle Potter

All Different Now: Juneteenth, The First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

What Forest Knows by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by August Hall

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse illustrated by Jon J. Muth

One Today by Richard Blanko and illustrated by Dav Pilkey

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Sail Away by Langston Hughes and illustrated by Ashley Bryan 

A Place Where Hurricanes Happen by Renee Watson and illustrated by Shadra Strickland

Instructions by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess

Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse

What You Know First by Patricia MacLachlan engravings by Barry Moser

Diamond Life: Baseball Sights, Sounds, and Swings by Charles R. Smith

Jazz Day:  The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxanne Orgill and illustrated by Francis Vallejo

Hi, Koo!  A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

Poem Runs by Douglas Florian

Black Cat Bone by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Gary Kelley

Baseball Is…by Louise Borden and illustrated by Raul Colon

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen

I hope this list is helpful as you find great picture books to add to your classroom. Please add your favorites in the comments and to see our other lists of favorites, go here.   Don’t forget about poem in your pocket day on April 21st.

7 thoughts on “Great Poetry Picture Books”

  1. Hi Pernille, I just found your blog–it’s wonderful! I also think picture books offer fantastic teaching opportunities, and your lists are very thoughtful and rich. I recently started a blog you might be interested in. It pairs picture books with a holiday each day and provides a craft or other activity. If you’d like to check it out, it’s at Thanks for your insights–your classroom must be such a fun place to learn!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these! I love using poetry with my students and have only heard of a few of these titles. Come On Rain is one of my favorite mentor texts to use in writing instruction! Will have to check some of these out!

  3. I love that you have books that look like they would be appealing to boys. Sometimes, with some boy (girls, too, I know), the thought of poetry is a huge turn off. If they are reading poems about the ti\hings they love, maybe they will grow to love poetry. Thanks for sharing.

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