A picture of several different poetry books on a blue background with light pink splodges

Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin

A Songbird Dreams of Singing by Kate Hosford & Jennifer M. Potter (2019)

Kate Hosford’s beautiful poems are interspersed with interesting facts about how animals sleep. Did you know sperm whales sleep vertically? Or that chimpanzees make pillows out of leaves? And what about flamingos who sleep on one leg to conserve energy? A Songbird Dreams of Singing is the perfect poetry book to share together at bedtime.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)

Poetry doesn’t have to be short, separate verses. Author Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of her childhood in vivid and moving free verse. You’ll learn how it was growing up between New York and South Carolina, and struggling to call one place home. You’ll hear what it was like growing up as an African-American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. And you’ll follow Woodson as she discovers her gift for writing. “But on paper, things can live forever. On paper, a butterfly never dies.”

Poetry Pie by Roger McGough (2015)

This collection of over 50 poems is full of hilarious observations on life, covering everything from food to ghouls. Young poets will love this book which is packed full of fun wordplay, puns, and quirky line drawings. Read one, and you’ll be asking for another slice of this poetry pie!

Kings and Queens by Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon (1932)

This funny anthology contains a poem about every British monarch, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II. Meet the ruthless and murderous Henry VIII, or laugh at the dull reign of Queen Anne. This book has been a classic for decades and will delight children and adults alike.

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl (1982)

Revolting Rhymes is Dahl’s shortest and most comical children’s book. Turning traditional verse on its head, this reinterpretation of classic fairy tales such as Cinderella and Snow White is completely gruesome and downright daring. You won't find an ordinary 'once upon a time' in this compilation...

Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah (1996)

Benjamin Zephaniah writes poetry of all flavours. From humorous to solemn, he touches on issues both amusing and important. Between the pages of Funky Chickens you’ll meet the likes of The Hip Hop Cop and The Grand Old Duke of York while touching on issues of racism and environmentalism in a variety of amusing poems. Hugely entertaining and well worth a read.

Gargling with Jelly by Brian Patten (1985)

Brian Patten is one of Puffin’s favourite poets, and Gargling with Jelly is one of his best collections! This anthology is both amusing and outrageous and will introduce you to a variety of characters who you’ve never met before. From naughty children to ghosts, you are sure to find something new at every turn. 

Poetry Jump-Up compiled by Grace Nichols (1990)

Poetry Jump-Up is one of Puffin’s great collections. Inside, you will meet some of the very best writers from across the world, and revel in the lively music of their verse. Poets like Don L. Lee, Dione Brand, and Nikki Giovanni fill these pages and lend this anthology a vibrancy that is hard to find elsewhere.

Michael Rosen's Book of Very Silly Poems by Michael Rosen (1996)

From festering food and riotous relatives to wondering whether you can pick your nose with your toes, Michael Rosen’s hilarious collection of nonsense poems will delight readers young and old. A great one for those who are new to poetry.

Silly Verse for Kids by Spike Milligan (1959)

Spike Milligan is an old favourite. Any child will recognise The Ning Nang Nong and many will remember a whole pile of Milligan’s other poems. Dip into this collection if you want some absurd, hilarious and side-splitting verse. Just don’t blame us if you go a little mad inside…

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