Poetry is a wonderful way to enjoy eloquent, descriptive language in brevity. And when rhyming is involved, it also brings a beat to the rhythm of words. This genre is a favorite, and I love to share these types of books so children can grasp the beauty of language that seems to roll off the tongue. The following are picture books and are great for all ages unless otherwise indicated.

We Love You, Magoo, by Briony Stewart, is a simple yet telling story about the pet dog in a household. This quick read is illustrated with a splash of vibrant color with all scenes displayed in every open page. But, what is most enjoyable is the humor in both the sparse text and the antics and expressions of this delightful dog. And of course, the entire book rhymes with a simple rhyming structure. Each time this delightfully expressive dog gets into trouble there is a repetitive statement, “No Magoo. This is for you. The pages are sturdy and perfect for the continual reread to your youngsters; ages three to six will love. (Kane)

Billan the Bard, by Mark Huffman and whimsically illustrated by Dawn Davidson, is a very clever book showcasing rhyming and rhythm and the structure of poems. Billan has a great ability to sing and play several instruments. But he has a big problem— he cannot rhyme! Rhyming would tie his performing abilities together. So he seeks council with Wizard. The format of this enticing book brings the reader into the book. By interacting and helping give words that rhyme, kids of all ages will become immersed in the joy of poetry.  ([email protected])

Stop That Poem!, by Eric Ode and brilliantly illustrated with many pictures filling the open page, by Jieting Chen, begins with a young boy asking a girl kneeling by her wagon what she is making. Her wagon is full of block words that seem to be mixed. As she attempts to place more words in her wagon, a poem appears. A poem might soar like a kite/ climb like a tower/ then fall like a warm spring shower. This examination of the nature of poems is clever and inviting for all who are reading through this delightful book. You may discover the poet inside of you! Be sure to check out the ingenious end-pages.  (Kane)

Like a Diamond in the Sky: Jane Taylor’s Beloved Poem of Wonder and the Stars, by Elizabeth Brown and beautifully hand painted using gouache painting techniques by Becca Stadtlander, encapsulates the poet behind the classic nursery poems. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star was written originally as The Star with several verses. When Ms. Taylor was growing up, she was taught in her English home. She had many opportunities to enjoy the countryside and gaze at night up at the stars. She was inspired by all of this and was propelled to write. She overcame many challenges of being a woman in the publishing world. Her famous poem is found at the back of the book along with more information about her life.  (Alexa.Higbee Bloomsbury)

The Barn, by Leah H. Rogers and exquisitely painted with watercolor and gouache painting techniques by Barry Root, celebrates the long life of a barn. Each open page begins with “I am a barn,”and proceeds to take you through the day with the events that surround this mighty structure. The animals that live within the walls of this building are shown how their day advances as you witness the growing sunlight, the blue sky, and then dusk. But, the majesty of this beautifully illustrated book are the connections of the poetic free verse on each open page. The descriptions of the day in this barn parallel the pictures intertwining life in and around the barn. This is a book to relish. (Candlewick)

The Cat and the Rat and the Hat, by Em Lynas and the boldly bright pictures done digitally by Matt Hunt, is a simple rhyming book that would be perfect for new readers and children ages three to six. The sentence structure is simple and repetitive with the majority of the words coming from the book’s title. The cat desires the rat’s hat and the hilarious antics that affect both will bring smiles to all. But it all becomes complicated when a bat arrives. What befalls the cat and the rat at the story’s end will bring chuckles and begging to read again and again. This is a must-read out loud for total enjoyment! (Candlewick)

The Barking Ballad: A Bark-Along Meow-Along Book, by Julie Paschkis, is a delightful interactive rhyming story that will bring the cat and dog out of you. When a cat was left when someone moved away./ She wandered hungry and bereft/ without a place to stay. Then she encounters a dog who becomes injured. After she saves him, they become great friends, and soon more dogs join in. The watercolor art is filled with folklore embellishments of a singing style. Be prepared to join in when asked to bark or meow. This is great fun for ages three to eight. (Simon)

Dear Little One, by Nina Laden and elegantly rendered in pencil and colored digitally by Melissa Castrillon, takes you through the beauty of the earth as a young girl walks through mountains, deserts, and the many splendors all around. The colorful natural world on display is breathtakingly beautiful and one can’t help but feel grateful for all of this splendor. The rhyming text is brief which links nicely to the surroundings. Hike in the forests./ They make the world green./ Their leaves act like lungs/ to keep the air clean. Best for ages three to eight. (Simon)