Free poetry books for children

We own a lot of poetry books both for children and for grown ups. But we also travelled quite a bit last year and I’ve put together our go-to library of free online children classical poetry resources, which is too good not to share. All these are public domain publications, which you can get totally free of charge from our favorite Project Guttenberg web-archive. I am sure you can find many more there, but the ones listed below, are the books we actually use and love.

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson – We own beautiful copy of it, but it is big and heavy, so it does not travel with us when we go for trips. Having it online made it accessible any time!

McClure’s Library of Children’s classics was published In the beginning of 20th century. If I would suggest one collection of poetry books to have, these would definitely be my first choice. The selection is very well rounded, forewords are lovely  and it is truly inspired. Edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith it originally consisted of 3 volumes:

Golden Numbers: book of verse for youth

The Posy Ring: a book of verse for children

Pinafore Palace: a book of rhymes for the nursery

Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt – Really nice simple poetry anthology especially for children.

It Can Be Done by St. Clair Adams and Joseph Morris  From publishers: “This is a volume of inspirational poems. Its purpose is to bring men courage and resolution, to cheer them, to fire them with new confidence when they grow dispirited, to strengthen their faith that THINGS CAN BE DONE. It is better for this purpose than the entire works of any one poet, for it takes the cream of many and has greater diversity than any one writer can show.” I highly recommend it. To name just a few of our favorite poems from here: Be the Best of Whatever You Are by Douglas Malloch, The House by the Side of the Road by Sam Walter Foss, If by Rudyard Kipling, It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar A. Guest, Duty by Ralph Waldo Emerson, A Good Name by William Shakespeare,… I’ve got to stop before I list all of them!

Another two books we read from:

The Book of Joyous Children by James Whitcomb Riley

The Children’s Garland from the Best Poets by Coventry Patmore

A few books, that we used occasionally:

The Best Nonsense Verses by Josephine Daskam Bacon — it is fun for vocabulary building and variety

Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake with audio

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright – We prefer Christian Mother Goose Rhymes, but when we need a traditional rhyme, we always can find it here

The following books I am putting here to check out, we have not used them yet, but I am sure there are treasures to be found in these as well. Let meknow what you think about them, if you get to read them before us!

Poems Teachers Ask For by Various

Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two

Required Poems for Reading and Memorizing

The Keepsake by Anonymous

Animal Children by Edith Brown Kirkwood