- The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning
How will the Pied Piper solve this town's problem of menacing rats?
- Sing a Song of Sixpence by Mother Goose
"A pocketful of rye, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie. When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?"
- Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!"
- Star Light, Star Bright
"Star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight!"
- Riding in My Car by Woody Guthrie
Kids love Guthrie's song, sing along with the video link at the bottom: "Take you riding in the car, car; I'll take you riding in my car; Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b' brrrm..."
- Ship in the Sky by Woody Guthrie
A nostalgic war song kids will get: "My daddy works at the place where they land, so you tell your mama don't be afraid, 'cause dad'll bring your daddy back home again."
- Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer
"It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day..."
- This Old Man featured in Pre-K Wordplay!
"With a knick-knack paddywhack, Give the dog a bone, This old man came rolling home."
- A Bird Came Down the Walk by Emily Dickinson
A celebration of the everyday: a detailed description of a bird enjoying a worm.
- Three little birds in a row by Stephen Crane
Curious, what do these three birds talk about, all in a row?
- Five Little Speckled Frogs
"Five little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log, eating the most delicious bugs (yum yum)"
- The Cat and the Fiddle by L. Frank Baum
What a bonus! The Mother Goose nursery rhyme followed by L. Frank Baum's story behind the rhyme!
- Mary Had a Little Lamb by Mother Goose
Sing, chant, or dance to the entire collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes!
- The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams
Among the rain and lights I saw the figure 5 in gold on a red firetruck..."
- Assault by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Who will walk between me and the crying of the frogs?"
- Spider, say again by Matsuo Basho
"Spider, say again! It’s so hard to hear your voice in the autumn wind."
Such an elegant delivery of syllables-- enjoy more Haiku poems
- The Bashful Earthquake by Oliver Herford
"Oh, what a crash! Oh, what a smash! How could I ever be so rash?"
- The Owl and the Pussy-Cat by Edward Lear
A lovely adventure with predictable rhyming verse to build confidence in early readers. Illustrated by William Foster.
- The Railway Train by Emily Dickinson
You can rename it I Like to See It Lap the Miles in case you want to read it to someone as a riddle.
- The Echoing Green by William Blake
An old man's remembrance of the joy of childhood play. Blake's poems from a children's perspective are in Songs of Innocence
- The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"I hear in the chamber above me, the patter of little feet, the sound of a door that is opened, and voices soft and sweet."
- The Caterpillar by Robert Graves
"I crawl on my high and swinging seat, and eat, eat,eat-- as one ought to eat."
- Yankee Doodle featured in American Patriotic Songs
"Yankee Doodle went to town a-riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni."
- This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, featured in American Patriotic Songs
"This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island..."
- Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere..."
- Swing Song by Laura E. Richards
Butterfly flutters: "Little child, come work with me. Learn to make a perfect nest, that of all things is the best."
- I'd Love to Be a Fairy's Child by Robert Graves
"They live on cherries, they run wild-- I'd love to be a Fairy's child."
- Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Up into the cherry tree who should climb but little me? I held the trunk with both my hands and looked abroad on foreign lands."
- Eletelephony by Laura E. Richards
"Once there was an elephant, Who tried to use the telephant— No! No! I mean an elephone Who tried to use the telephone—"
- The Telephone by Robert Frost
"There was an hour, all still, when leaning with my head against a flower, I heard you talk."
- The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson
Best known for his adventure novel Treasure Island
, Stevenson's poem is about a child amusing himself while sick in bed.
- Mother Earth's Children
- Once Upon a Time by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Find out what happens to the nest of fairies.
- Monosyllabics by Laura E. Richards
"The black cat sat in the fat man’s hat; 'Oh, dear!' the fat man said.'May the great gray bat catch the bad black cat who has left me no hat for my head!'"
- Child-Songs by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Children could almost skip rope chanting Tennyson's cheery verses.
- Just So Stories Poems by Rudyard Kipling
Enjoy the poems to discover how the elephant, camel, whale, leopard, armadillo and more got their animal characteristics in Just So Stories
- A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott
"Queen of my tub, I merrily sing, while the white foam rises high, and sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring, and fasten the clothes to dry."
- The Making of the Long Serpent by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow's tribute to the Viking boat-builder, Thorberg Skafting.
- The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"And children coming home from school look in at the open door; They love to see the flaming forge, And bear the bellows roar."
- Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson
Learn the meaning of billabong, jumpbuck, coolibah and swagman in Australia's unofficial anthem!
- Autumn by Emily Dickinson
Dickinson introduces children to personification.
- Jack-O-Lantern Song in Halloween Stories for Children
"We, Jacks, our lanters did all light--" A specially Halloween collection just for kids!
- Our Little Ghost by Louisa May Alcott
Not the least bit spooky, "For, in this happy little soul, shines a sun that never sets."
- Phantasmagoria by Lewis Carroll
"I turned to look in some surprise, and there, before my very eyes, a little Ghost was standing!"
- Twas the Night Before Christmas featured in Christmas Stories for Children
This classic poem is a must-read on Christmas Eve!
- The Christmas Ball by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, featured in Christmas Stories for Children
Children and fairies sure know how dance under the shade of the Christmas-tree!
- Pippa's Song by Robert Browning
It's a perfect spring day: "All's right with the world!"
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."
- The Snowflake Tree by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Freeman celebrates the beauty of winter, and the joy of coming home to a warm hearth.
- A Snow Man in Winter Sports Stories
All good snowmen eventually melt, but they are so fun to enjoy while they last!
- Winter Sport in Winter Sports Stories
"A horse or cart I do not fear. For past them both my sled I steer."
- Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
Who knew crows could be kind?
- The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
- America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
"Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!"
- The Bean-Stalk by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Ho Giant, this is I! I have built me a bean-stalk into your sky!"