Poetry for Children

Child’s Chant

Oklahoma Dust Bowl, 1935

 

Dust blows in, dust blows out.

Drought brings dust, dust brings drought. 

           Right hand in, swirl about—

           dust blows in, dust blows out.

 

Bury scarecrow, bury cow,

bury chickens, bury plow.

          Dust blows in, dust blows out—

          left hand in, swirl about.

 

Papa fiddles, baby cries,

Mama stares at empty skies.

        Right foot in, swirl about—

        dust blows in, dust blows out.

 

Dust for breakfast, dust for dinner.

Crops stop growing, hope grows thinner.

        Dust blows in, dust blows out—

        left foot in, swirl about.

 

Packed jalopy, laden mule.

Goodbye friends, goodbye school.

        Whole self in, swirl about—

        dust blows in; we blow out.

 

Originally appeared in the National Geographic anthology, The Poetry of US.

 

 

Renée M. LaTulippe is an author, editor, and teacher. Her poems appear in many anthologies including School People, Thanku: Poems of Gratitude, and One Minute Till Bedtime. Renée teaches The Lyrical Language Lab and blogs on children’s poetry at NoWaterRiver.com.

Picture This

 

My sister can draw very well

and much better than most, I would say.

Wherever she happens to go,

her sketch book is not far away.

 

She carries it with her to school

and may start on a sketch while she’s there,

then finish it up back at home

and have a nice drawing to share.

 

One time we were down at the beach,

with no pencils or paper around,

but she drew us a wonderful scene

with a stick, on the wet sandy ground.

 

From Magic Words.

 

 

Phil Huffy is a busy poet whose work appears in dozens of literary publications.  His recent book, Magic Words, is a children’s collection of over 100 poems, soon to be released in an audio edition as well.

The Bread and Butter/Batter Battle

 

My brother likes butter,

While I prefer batter

My brother eats butter

With bread, but no matter,

My mother eats batter

With bread, but no butter,

And then there’s my father

Who goes even further . . .

My father eats butter

With big globs of batter,

(He’d eat it with bread but

’Twould make father fatter.)

So, all day we battle,

Each one with the other,

About which is better,

Bread, batter or butter.

 

From Moonsnacks and Assorted Nuts.

 

 

Mary Grace Dembeck is an award-winning writer and artist. Her book of children’s poems, Moonsnacks and Assorted Nuts, has been set to music by Maureen McGovern, and her paintings have been exhibited at the National Academy of Design.

with Robert Schechter

Fairy Party

 

In the moonlight-speckled forest

where the creek runs bubbling white,

there are teeny tiny fairies

celebrating through the night.

 

They call upon the fireflies

to twinkle all around,

then spread their picnic blankets on

the mossy, velvet ground.

 

They share a batch of honey cakes

and drink from acorn mugs.

They flit their wings, they spin and twirl,

and dance with ladybugs.

 

The fairies clap and sing a song

that carries on the breeze.

If you listen . . . you may hear them

in the rustling of the trees.

 

 

Diana Murray is the author of over a dozen children’s books, including  Unicorn Day, Ned the Knitting Pirate, and Goodnight, Veggies. Her poems also appear in magazines and anthologies such as Thanku: Poems of Gratitude. Visit her website at dianamurray.com.

Singing Duck

 

The duck makes a quack

and that quack makes the duck

stand out from the crowd,

rise up from the muck.

That quack makes the duck

stand out from the pack,

but its fame only lasts

till the others quack back!

At the Pond

 

A swollen lily pad

grew eyes, a tongue, then

left a hole in the air

where a fly had been.

 

 

Orel Protopopescu is the author of prize-winning poems and books for children and adults. Her picture book, The Perilous Pit, was a NY Times Best-Illustrated and her Two Sticks was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. orelprotopopescu.com.

Walking On Eggshells

 

I would’ve played the piano by ear

but I’d already laughed my head off.

 

In a stormy row I stuck my neck out

which kept my head well above water.

 

I knew the kitchen like the back of my hand,

which made it very easy to have a finger in every pie.

 

If I am all ears

how come I’m also all heart?

 

I put my foot in my mouth

which made it very difficult to walk on eggshells.

 

 

Chrissie Gittins is an award-winning poet. Her latest children’s poetry collections are Adder, Bluebell, Lobster, and Stars in Jars. Her poems are widely anthologized, have been animated for TV, and appear in a recording for the Children’s Poetry Archive. chrissiegittins.co.uk.

Stone the Crows

 

In the field, there’s a man

made of sticks and straw

On the man, there are crows

that croak and caw

 

He’s supposed to scare

the crows away

He’s supposed to keep

the crows at bay

 

But the birds aren’t afraid

they think he’s sweet

And they walk on the man

with their little crow feet

 

First published by The Caterpillar, Winter 2018.

 

 

Jackie Hosking, born in Nigeria to Cornish parents, now lives in Australia. Her picture book, The Croc and the Platypus, is published by Walker Books, and she’s very happy to have four new books in the wings. Visit jackiehoskingblog.wordpress.com.

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