How to Write a Poetry Collection Picture Book


Poetry Collections make great picture books.

Write a Collection of Poetry on a Specific Topic

Poetry collections make great children’s picture books. The most common type of poetry collection seen in picture books is 15-30 poems on a single, specific topic. This slots the book into a category for use in the classroom, as well as focuses your poetry. For likely topics, look at schools’ curriculum and find a niche to fill. March is Poetry Month, and these type books are widely sought after during that time, so perhaps something related to spring or topics taught in the spring would sell better.

Barefoot: Poems for Naked Feet, by Stefi Wiseburd, is about feet and has 26 poems.

Within a topic, you can mix and match poetry genres. Another strategy, though, is to feature all one genre poetry, but vary the topics. One of my favorite books is Technically, It’s Not My Fault by John Grandits, a collection of concrete, or shaped poems, on a variety of topics.
The key is to focus the collection of poetry, either on a topic or within a genre of poetry.

Another resource comes from Jack Prelutzsky, who was named the Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006. His book, Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem is for kids, but you’ll learn from it, too.

Also read, Button Up! Wrinkled Rhymes by Alice Schertle, then watch this video interview with her about her mask poems, poems written from the POV of an inanimate object.


Read several collections of poetry. Think about why the topic of the poems would appeal to kids and teachers. List 5 topics you might write about.
Locate information on several publisher who might publish picture book poetry collections.

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