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Picture Book Poems   by Hilary Williamson, April 2006
          when you're half asleep,
          those big white clouds
          look just like sheep ...
          in a meadow, in the spring.
          Just imagine ... anything!'

Ruth Brown encourages young readers to range their imaginations all over the world in her engaging, rhyming picture book, Imagine, that focuses in on simple opposites at bedtime. And doesn't poetry - with its succinct imagery and catchy rhythms - provide a magical way in to young reader's imaginations? Here's a selection of some of my favorite poetic picture books ...

Alligator Pie: Alligator Tales by by Dennis Lee & Nora Hilb
A charming board book version of Dennis Lee's beloved poem.

The Beauty of the Beast by Jack Prelutsky & Meilo So
A delightful collection of rhymed natural history.

Cowboy Slim by Julie Danneberg & Margot Apple
Is Slim, who spends his time writing poetry, a real cowboy?

Fold Me A Poem by Kristine O'Connell George & Lauren Stringer
Explores the similarities between origami and poetry.

Imagine by Ruth Brown
Bright pictures and rhymes encourage the imagining of opposites.

Mammalabilia by Douglas Florian
21 marvellous poems and paintings of our favorite friends in fur.

Mathematickles! by Betsy Franco & Steven Salerno
Offers 'fun poems to tickle your funny bone'.

Once Around the Sun by Bobbi Katz & LeUyen Pham
Verses about the year, with a specific poem for each month.

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein
Tells the story of a babbit in spoonerism-sprinkled verses.
Listen to an Audio Clip and see if it makes sense to you!

Wonderful Words by Lee Bennett Hopkins & Karen Barbour
'Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening'.

Yellow Elephant by Julie Larios & Julie Paschkis
This 'Bright Bestiary' introduces animals, and the feelings they evoke.

I always delighted in reading in rhyme with my sons when they were small and it felt like we were dancing through verses together. Read picture book poems along with little ones to encourage their development of a love of words and their sense of the rhythm of language.
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