From birth—if not before—children respond to the rhythm and rhyme of poetry. Indeed, children’s book author and literacy expert Mem Fox claims, "Rhymers will be readers; it's that simple. Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they're four years old, they're usually among the best readers by the time they're eight" (Reading Magic; Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, 2001, p. 85). Here are 50 recommended titles of poetry written with our youngest listeners in mind.
The list begins:
1. Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, Isabel, Comp. 2010. Muu, Moo! Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes. Rayo/HarperCollins.
2. Ada, Alma Flor, and Isabel Campoy, Comp. 2003. Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes. New York: HarperCollins.
3. Ahlberg, Allan and Ingram, Bruce. 2010. Everybody Was a Baby Once. Candlewick.
4. Anholt, Catherine and Laurence Anholt. 1998. Big Book of Families. Cambridge: Candlewick.
5. Archer, Peggy. 2007. From Dawn to Dreams; Poems for Busy Babies. Ill. by Hanako Wakiyama. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book, but would like to suggest additions, corrections, or offer other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!