Wisconsin's Water Library
Poetry for Children
The famous poet John Keats once said, “The poetry of earth is never dead.”
Poetry is a powerful way of bringing the natural world to life in the imaginations of young and old alike. For children, poetry also introduces tools that will inspire them to become enthusiastic and proficient readers. Here are some of our favorite poetry books about water and the environment for children of all ages.
In The Swim: Poems and Paintings
By Douglas Florian. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 1997.
Water-dwellers from salmon to manatees are featured in this wonderful creation full of poetry and delightful illustrations.
Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs
By Douglas Florian. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2001.
Florian’s 21 rhyming poems about reptiles and amphibians are a “toadal” delight. The author/illustrator has created an ingenious way for children to learn about these creatures.
Song for the Whooping Crane
By Eileen Spinelli. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2000.
Eileen Spinelli has written a poetic celebration of the whooping crane, one of the rarest birds in North America. It is beautifully illustrated by Elsa Warnick.
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems
By Joyce Sidman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
A collection of poems that provide a sneak peek at the animals, insects and plants that are found in ponds, with accompanying scientific information about each.
If you wish to see more books on this topic, visit our recommended reading list at go.wisc.edu/68rd34.
Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow these books. Just email