Many children—and adults—don’t realize that the silly songs, rollicking rhymes, and nonsense games we learn in early childhood are indeed a form of literature. Folk poetry is the poetry you don’t even realize is poetry. Rhymes on the playground like "Cinderella dressed in yellow" have no known author and yet are familiar to many generations of children. Books of riddles, chants, jumprope rhymes, finger plays, handclapping games, autograph sayings and often contain poetry and verse. What’s more, children are often intrigued to find in print the verses they have heard and known only orally and only in the domain outside of school—at home and at play. Here are some notable collections of folk poetry that are appealing to audiences of all ages.
The list begins:
Chambers, Veronica. 2002. Double Dutch: A Celebration of Jump Rope, Rhyme, and Sisterhood. New York: Hyperion.
Cole, Joanna, and Stephanie Calmenson. 1995. Yours Till Banana Splits: 201 Autograph Rhymes. New York: HarperCollins.
Corbett, Pie. 2000. The Kingfisher Playtime Treasury: A Collection of Playground Rhymes, Games, and Action Songs. New York: Kingfisher.
Delacre, Lulu. 2004. Arrorró Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games. New York: Lee & Low.
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2004. Over In the Pink House: New Jump Rope Rhymes. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!