Illustrations and poetry encourage imagination, engaging children to experience each creation.
At school visits, before and after reading a poem aloud, I share information about the poet and illustrator. This year, I also focused on the title of each poem. For example, when introducing Pencil Plunge by Laura Purdie Salas, I asked, “What is the poem about?” A few of my favorite answers: It’s a pencil doing the polar bear plunge! It’s a pencil plunging into a toilet and then turning into an actual plunger.
My appreciation for poetry and art started with an amazing poetry book edited by Jan Greenberg, Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art. It’s a wonderful combination of poems matched with famous artists. Think of all the fabulous art questions! What do you see? What would you draw? What colors would you use?
A list of favorite children’s poetry book illustrators:
- Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All
- Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings
- UnBeelievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings
- Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander
- Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hammer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
Jon J Muth:
- Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers
- Jazz by Walter Dean Myers
- We Are American: A Tribute From the Heart by Walter Dean Myers
- Flutter & Hum: Animal Poems = Aleteo Y Zumbido : Poemas De Animales by Julie Paschkis
- Twist: Yoga Poems by Janet S. Wong
- Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown
- Vivid: Poems & Notes about Color by Julie Paschkis
- A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shout selected by Paul B. Janeczko
- Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing and More by Jack Prelustky
- The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects selected by Paul B. Janeczko
How are you incorporating illustrations in your poetry programs? Please share in the comments below.