Suse MacDonald has adapted Edward Lear's A Was Once an Apple Pie. One of the skills a child needs to develop before learning to read is "phonological awareness" which is the ability to hear distinct sounds within words. Reading or reciting rhymes to a young child will help that child understand that words are made up of separate sounds. This alphabet poem is full of wordplay such as
MacDonald's delightful illustrations nicely complement the text.
D was once a little dog,
doggy, moggy, oggy, noggy,
waggy, woggy, little dog!
Once I Ate a Pie is a book of poems about dogs written by Patricia MacLachlan (who won the Newbery Medal for Sarah Plain and Tall) and her daughter Emily MacLachlan Charest. This book will appeal to dog lovers of all ages for not only do the poems capture the essence of doggieness but the illustrations are outstanding. Various breeds of dogs are featured throughout the book. I loved this book and I have two cats!
No Boys Allowed: Poems about Brothers and Sisters is a collection compiled by John Micklos, Jr. The poems in this book feature a wide variety of sibling emotions. Parents will also appreciate these verses.
Two books that will appeal to older children are Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku by Paul B. Janeczko and Patrick Lewis and Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art by Diane Siebert. Wing Nuts is a humorous collection of poetry called senryu. Illustrator Stephen T. Johnson uses a variety of media to depict the famous American landmarks featured in Tour America (New Jersey, my home state, is represented by Lucy the Elephant).
April is National Poetry Month so celebrate it by browsing through your library's collection of poetry books. To get started go to 811 in the children's non-fiction section. Play rhymes and Mother Goose books can be found in 398.8.