Haiku Poetry Books for Kids

Do you share poetry with your kids? In the midst of all the books we read, I often neglect poetry. If you are like me, haiku are a good place to start, especially as National Poetry Month is right around the corner.

Haiku poetry books for kids, a list of inspiring books

Haiku Poetry for Kids

During our interminable walk to school every morning, 8 year old Kiddo and I have been composing Haiku. On a whim one morning I explained the 5-7-5 syllable structure with some examples of haiku poems I composed on the spot (they were very bad). I described how the subject of haiku is nature but truth be told, it was the mathematical component that hooked his interest! Some of the poems we compose on our walks are really silly but I love our new morning ritual.

The following books are all lovely collections of haiku poetry you can share with your kids. I hope they inspire your own spontaneous haiku writing session! {Note: I have chosen these books based solely on my personal opinion and included Amazon affiliate links where you can find out more, should a book spark your interest.}

Haiku Books for Kids


GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys. I truly adore this book, partly because being a mom of two boys I recognize the spirited and mischievous nature of boys so aptly translated to the haiku form. (That’s not to say girls are spirited and mischievous, but I don’t have daughters. If you’re a girl and want to protest you can do so at the Guyku website!)


The Cuckoo’s Haiku: and Other Birding Poems. Understandably, this book is a favorite of my bird-loving 8 year old. The watercolor illustrations are gorgeous and birds are divided into season, which is perfect for enthusiastic birders.


One Leaf Rides the Wind. A child’s love of the Japanese Garden is the inspiration behind this collection of haiku poetry which is also a counting book. Cleverly, the poems follow the girl’s journey through the garden as she discovers and admires its delights.


Haiku Baby. This is a darling board book with 6 haiku poems about nature. I really loved how Snyder uses onomatopoetic words which naturally appeal to babies and the collage illustrations are colorful and sweet.


I Haiku You. This is another lovely collection by Snyder. Each haiku is an expression of love and affection: super-sweet but not saccharine.


Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. An entire story told in haiku? Awesome! This is the story of a shelter cat and his new adopted life. With bold illustrations, this is a wonderful, funny and unique book.


If Not for the Cat. If you need an animal haiku book then you should definitely check out this offering from Jack Prelutsky. Each poem is not just a haiku but a riddle to be solved. The answer to each riddle-haiku is revealed in Ted Rand’s exquisite illustrations.


Today And Today. 18th century Japanese poet Issa’s haikus are given a fresh life for kids in this collection. Organized by season and accompanied by winsome illustrations from one of my favorite illustrators (I have a lot of favorites, actually), G. Brian Karas.


Wabi Sabi. I don’t know what it is about haikus and cats, but here is another selection that pairs the two. A cat named Wabi Sabi sets off on a journey to find the meaning of her name and along the way discovers ways of seeing beauty in simplicity, an important concept in Zen Buddhism and also the meaning of his name. The story is accompanied by haikus that act as both punctuation marks in the story as well as moments in which the cat learns how to see beauty in simplicity.

Bonus! Haiku Game!

While I was building the links to the books (affiliate links, FYI) for this post, I found these awesome: Haikubes! There are 63 word cubes that you roll to make haikus. It looks awesome, but as a disclaimer I haven’t tried it (yet!).

 Do you and your kids read poetry?

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Comments

  1. Have to check out some of the books! Thanks for sharing. Love your site’s new look!

  2. You always come up with the best ideas for book lists. I love it!

  3. I have only read If Not For the Cat. I guess I better start reading!

  4. Great list – thanks putting it together and sharing :) I love it when a routine occurrence (like walking to school) turns into a fun opportunity for learning and creativity.

  5. I Haiku You is so cute! I still need to read the rest of these, though.
    I’ve heard of Haikubes, but I haven’t gotten to try it either. It looks like so much fun!

  6. I Haiku You looks so sweet – I remember seeing that one around Valentine’s Day this year. So, are you going to share some of your Haiku creations with us? ;-) Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop

  7. Fabulous! I’ll also be featuring this post as part of my Kids Books: Stories, Poems & Activities roundup from the Weekly Kids’ Co-op. Thanks for sharing. xoxo P

  8. Thanks for this list! I love diversifying our kiddo’s reading list not just in topic, but in format – and aside from Haiku Baby a long time ago, we haven’t read much haiku.

  9. Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth is another great haiku book for kids!

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