Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2023: Poetry

October 30, 2023



37. Animals in Pants by Suzy Levinson, ill. Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell

An irreverently illustrated picture book of simple and silly poems featuring all kinds of animals wearing all kinds of pants. Call Number: x811.6 Levin.S


38. Kin: Rooted in Hope by Carole Boston Weatherford, Ill. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford

Carole and Jeffery Boston Weatherford tell the story of their ancestors through verse, art, and painful, but ultimately empowering, research. Call Number: J Weath.C


39. My Head Has a Bellyache by Chris Harris, ill. Andrea Tsurumi

Step aside, Shel Silverstein! There’s a new funny poetry book in town and it’s going to knock you out. Get ready for elderly cavemen, nail-clippies fairies, and AWOL buffalos in this laugh-out-loud triumph of a collection. Call Number: x811 Harri.C


40. Robot, Unicorn, Queen: Poems for You and Me by Shannon Bramer, ill. Irene Luxbacher

A funny, touching, exciting array of poems fill this collection. From “I did what the toad toad me to do” to “Please Don’t Scream at the Piano” dive deep into some of the best poetry for kids you’ve ever read. Call Number: x811.6 Brame.S


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022: Poetry

October 21, 2022


  1. Book of Questions / Libro de Las Preguntas: Selections by Pablo Neruda, ill. Paloma Valdivia, translated by Sara Lissa Paulson

Neruda’s last great work of poetry is reimagined for kids in this sumptuous collection. 70 questions of the original 320 are presented thematically to kids, with results ridiculous, thoughtful, and often unanswerable. Call Number: Spanish x861 Nerud.P

  1. Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens, ill. Monica Mikai

Written to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, this song tells the tale of sorrow and joy, pain and triumph, always with the child reader in mind. A marvelously honest look at how to sing when the world has left you nothing at all. Call Number: JPicture Gidde.R

  1. Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play Among Figures of Speech by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek, ill. Richard Jones

30 poems complemented with evocative paintings play with images and metaphors, constructing whole new ways to encounter the world. Call Number: x811 Koose.T

  1. Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

With vivid poems and engaging mini-chapters, Zoboi offers a cosmic look at the legendary science fiction writer’s youth and the events that inspired her to create her otherworldly stories.xBiog Butle.O Zoboi.I

  1. Take Off Your Brave: The World Through the Eyes of a Preschool Poet by Nadim (age 4), ill. Yasmeen Ismail

When Nadim was 4-years-old, his mom told him that a poem is “a kind of story of a feeling or a moment.” Delve into Nadim’s 23 poems, each capturing what it means to really and truly be a kid. x821 Shamm.N


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.

Poetry Books for Kids!

Together, Angelou’s words and Basquiat’s paintings create a place where every child–indeed every person–may experience his or her own fearlessness”

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2021: Poetry

October 18, 2021


38. Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman, ill. Diana Sudyka

Slip into the secret spots of your garden and meet a coy creature unafraid to be silent and stealthy. Contains lovely poems and delicious facts about the tiny treefrog. JPicture Sidma.J

39. Honey for You, Honey for Me: A First Book of Nursery Rhymes collected by Michael Rosen, ill. Chris Riddell

Our youngest readers will bounce with glee when read this array of rhymes both old and new. Big beautiful art is sure to entrance toddlers far and wide. x398.8 Honey

40. Hoop Kings 2: New Royalty by Charles R. Smith Jr. 

“Shimmy, shake, spin, stride / dribble in, step back, dribble out, slide.” Meet 12 of today’s hottest basketball champs as Charles R. Smith Jr. makes their poetry on the court into poetry on the page. x811 Smith.C

41. Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes

Award-winning poet and author Nikki Grimes introduces the poems of women from the Harlem Renaissance then answers them with poems of her own. x811 Grime.N

42. Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada, Ill. María Elena Valdez, translated by Lawrence Schimel

Thirty-four poems honor the thirty-four children killed during the dictatorship of General Pinochet. Poignant, loving, beautiful words display each child full of life and hope and wonder. J861.7 Ferra.M

43. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson, ill. Nikkolas Smith

A class assignment to “trace your roots” leads one Black child to ask her grandmother about their family history. Grandma tells the story of Black pride, history, and what it means to come from a resilient people that have loved, resisted, and persevered. x973.0496 Hanna.N


Return to the full list of 101 Great Books for Kids here.

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2020: Poetry and Short Stories

November 6, 2020

Poetry and Short Stories

38. A Hatful of Dragons: And More Than 13.8 Billion Other Funny Poems by Vikram Madan.

Hilarity abounds in this wild and wacky conglomeration of unique (and goofy) poems! Expect 13.8 billion laughs! Call Number: x811 Madan.V


39. I Wish by Toon Tellegen, ill. Ingrid Godon, translated by David Colmer.

A strange, melancholy, oddly hopeful book for our strange, melancholy, oddly hopeful little world. Call Number: x811 Telle.T

40. Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

The girls in this book might be drummers, little sisters, shy, or “door buster”s, but each one has something important to say, so you better sit back and listen. Call Number: x811 Brant.V

Be sure to read the ebook on Overdrive here.


41. On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring by Buffy Silverman.

Are you ready to take a deep dive into a drip-droppy, slip-sloppy, hawk-squawking, woods-walking, crocus-poking, mitten-soaking, snow-melting day? Gorgeous photography celebrates the arrival of spring. Call Number: x508.2 Silve.B


42. Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices, edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed, ill. Sara Alfageeh.

These captivating short stories–some funny, some poignant–by some of the best Muslim authors writing today, capture the various ways Eid is celebrated. Call Number: x297.36 Once


You can find the full 101 Great Books for Kids 2020 list here.

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