Children's poetry

Children's poetry is poetry written for, or appropriate for children. This may include folk poetry (for example, Mother Goose rhymes); poetry written intentionally for young people (e.g. Shel Silverstein); poetry written originally for adults, but appropriate for young people (Ogden Nash); and poems taken from prose works (Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling).


Poetry is usually one of the first types of literature presented to a child in the form of nursery rhymes or lullabies. Poetry is universal throughout the world's oral traditions as songs and folklore passed down to younger generations. Written poetry first began appearing in the 15th century mostly religious to provide moral instruction. The eighteenth century saw the development of the concept of childhood, and a separate genre of children's literature, including poetry, began to emerge.[1][2][3]


Introducing poetry to children helps develop their literacy skills by developing vocabulary through rhythmic structure of the stanzas which give context to new and unknown words; phonemic awareness through pitch, voice inflection, and volume; memorization through patterns and sequences; self-expression through the creativity and emotion of the words; physical awareness of breath, movements of the mouth and other gestures as they align to the rhythm of the poetry. Scholars also see that poetry and nursery rhymes are universal throughout cultures as an oral tradition.[4]

Notable children's poetsEdit

See alsoEdit

  Children's literature portal


  1. ^ "Children's Poetry |". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  2. ^ "The Case for Children's Poetry". University of Cambridge. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. ^ Nikolajeva, María (editor) (1995). Aspects and Issues in the History of Children's Literature. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-29614-7.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "5 Benefits of Poetry Recitation in a Child's Literacy Development | Scholar Base". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "10 Wonderful Children's Poets You Should Know". Literary Hub. 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  6. ^ a b Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to make up stories ... The Independent (Sunday, 12 December 2010)

Further readingEdit

  • Brewton, John Edmund. Index to Poetry for Children and Young People, 1964–1969. New York: Wilson, 1972.
  • Index to Poetry for Children and Young People, 1976–1981. New York: Wilson, 1981.
  • Sell, Violet, Dorothy B. Frizzell Smith, Ardis Sarff O’Hoyt, and Mildred Bakke. Subject Index to Poetry for Children and Young People. Chicago: American Library Association, 1957, ISBN 0-8389-0242-1.