My First Poems: 12 Great Poetry Books for Kids Ages 0 – 4

by Jennifer Ridgway

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Sometimes it gets lost that a lot of the amazing books we read to children, especially infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, are actually poetry. With rhythm and rhyme, the stories that unfold across the pages of these picture books are oftentimes their first introduction to poems. Reading poetry has numerous benefits for building early literacy skills, including rhythm development and recognition, voice inflection and pitch, memorization skills, self-expression, and vocabulary enhancement. I’ve rounded up 12 great poetry books for the littlest of children — some are rhyming tales with single storylines and some are poetry collections, and all make great additions to the family library.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021.