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Do your kids think poetry is stuffy and boring? Then have I got a surprise for them! I’ve personally selected these five poetry collections for their laugh-ability. These funny poems are best when shared aloud, so go grab your loved ones â€“ and read them a funny poem. After all, April is National Poetry Month.
Edward Lear’s Nonsense Works
“There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, ‘It is just as I feared! Two Owls and a Hen, Four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!’” Edward Lear’s “A Book of Nonsense” (a collection of 112 limericks for children) was first published in 1846. “It was the convention at the time for children’s books to be published anonymously, so there was no mention of Lear’s name in the book.” This fan site, created by an Italian high school teacher (he actually teaches English, but he does it in Italy) includes all of Lear’s limericks as well as biographical notes and commentary.
Bruce Lansky’s books are among America’s best-selling children’s poetry books, with more than 500,000 copies in print. His site not only includes a large archive of funny poems (from Lansky and other Meadowbrook Press poets), it also has fill-in-the-blank poetry activities, advice for would-be poets, and poems to grade (which ones are good enough to be published?) Here’s a familiar one with a twisted ending, written by Bill Dodd. “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, until you hit the waterfall â€“ then you’ll start to scream.”
Grandpa Tucker’s Rhymes and Tales
I can picture Grandpa Tucker in my mind’s eye, my imagination encouraged by his cartoon figure and the bluegrass music playing in the background. Grandpa Tucker writes an original monthly story in verse, and shares his collection of fun illustrated poems. He offers this advice to parents. “….I believe that the most important reading being done anywhere in the world is when an adult reads to a child. I believe children will leave Nintendo or stop roller blading for a few minutes to share the closeness of sharing a story.”
Poetry for Kids
Kenn Nesbitt is an young poet (I get to call him that â€˜cause he’s younger then me) who writes zany poems with hysterically funny punch lines. Try reading them aloud to your kids or your class, or better yet, have your children read them to their friends and classmates. Here’s a snippet from “The Amusement Park.” ” We went to an amusement park, my family and I. We rode on rides so scary I expected I would die. We rode a rollercoaster called The Homicidal Comet. It had so many loop-de-loops it nearly made us vomit.”
The Verse of Ogden Nash
“God in his wisdom made the fly, And then forgot to tell us why.” I remember Ogden Nash from my childhood (“The Tale of Custard the Dragon” in particular) and I think this collection of eight animal poems is a perfect Ogden Nash introduction for a new generation of fans. Click on “Return to KidzPage” to navigate the rest of this poetry site, which includes “Critter ABC’s,” Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky, ” and assorted limericks.