Children's Poetry Poems

Children’s poetry is a magical poetic genre and topic where poets are able to explore their verse with as much imagination and joy as possible. Through enchanting verses, children’s poetry cultivates a love for language, fostering a great deal of creativity and self-expression.

It introduces young readers to the wonders of nature, animals, and fantastical worlds, transporting them on delightful adventures they’ll remember all their lives.

Some of the best children’s poets include Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, and Edgar Guest. 

Here we go round the mulberry bush

by Anonymous

‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’ was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century by James Orchard Halliwell. It was noted, as a great deal of nursery rhymes were, as a children’s game.

This poem is certainly one of the best-known children's poems, and songs, of all time. It's sung for fun, as a game, and as a way for children to practice reading. It's also very wide spread with iterations stretching across the world. This is also an example of a children's poem that contains mysterious imagery that has prompted debate regarding what exactly it was inspired by.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,

The mulberry bush,

The mulberry bush.

Here we go round the mulberry bush

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep 

by Anonymous
This is an incredibly famous nursery rhyme that's sung in homes around the world. The first three lines, in particular, are very well-known. Most readers are going to have heard the poem at one time or another. The poem uses imagery that children are always familiar with and with which they connect. The poem also uses rhymes.

Baa, baa, black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes, sir, yes, sir,

If I Were King

by Alan Alexander Milne

‘If I Were King’ by A.A. Milne is a highly entertaining poem. It contains the fantastical thoughts of a young boy who wants to be king.

This is a fantastic example of children's poetry that was written in A.A. Milne. The poem follows a young boy who wants to be "king" and declares everything he's planning on doing once he has this power. It taps into young kids' need to control their lives as well as their incredible imaginations.

The other night 'bout two o'clock, or maybe it was three,

An elephant with shining tusks came chasing after me.

His trunk was wavin' in the air an' spoutin' jets of steam

An' he was out to eat me up, but still I didn't scream

Hush little baby, don’t say a word

by Mother Goose

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word” by Mother Goose is a popular nursery rhyme that originated in the southern United States. It is addressed to a crying child and includes the many things that their father would do for them to make them happy.

This is a very famous children's nursery rhyme that also ranks as one of the best examples of children's poetry ever written. Often included in collections by "Mother Goose," the original author of this poem is unknown. It was originally written with the intention of soothing crying children.

Hush little baby, don't say a word,

Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

Green Grow the Rushes, O

by Anonymous

Read ‘Green Grow the Rushes, O’, with a complete analysis and summary of the song/poem.

This is a very well-known children's poem that uses upbeat language, easy imagery, and rhymes that are simple enough for young readers to remember. This poem is also known as a counting song because of the way it teaches children how to count, utilizing numbers in its depiction of various sights.

I'll sing you twelve, O

Green grow the rushes, O

What are your twelve, O?

The Crocodile

by Lewis Carroll

‘The Crocodile’ by Lewis Carroll tells, very briefly, of a crocodile who sneakily attracts fish and then swallows them with a big smile on his face.

The poem's playful and imaginative language is reminiscent of the type of writing often associated with children's literature. The use of rhyme, repetition, and exaggerated imagery creates a sense of whimsy and delight that is appealing to both children and adults.

How doth the little crocodile

     Improve his shining tail,

And pour the waters of the Nile

     On every golden scale!

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

by Edward Lear

‘The Owl and the Pussy-Cat’ by Edward Lear is a simple, joy-filled poem that tells the marriage story of an owl and a cat. 

The whimsical imagery and playful language of 'The Owl and the Pussy-Cat' make it a perfect example of children's literature. The poem's simple and straightforward storytelling style is easy for children to understand and enjoy.

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon

by Ogden Nash

‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ by Ogden Nash is a ballad about a young girl, Belinda, and her four pets, one of whom is a cowardly dragon named Custard.

This poem is a perfect example of a children's poem, with its light-hearted language, colorful characters, and playful themes likely to resonate with young readers. The poem is regarded as one of Nash's best examples of poems as well. It follows the story of a young girl whose cowardly pet dragon is named Custard.

Belinda lived in a little white house,

With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,

And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,

And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Alice the Camel

by Anonymous

‘Alice the Camel’ is a fun nursery rhyme and counting song. It describes Alice the camel and depicts her losing humps through the six stanzas until a surprising punchline ends the song. 

This is a simple and catchy nursery rhyme that's also a great example of children's poetry. It's also a great example of a counting song that was used to help children learn numbers. The poem is also just as upbeat and enthusiastic as a child could want from a poem. There is also a twist ending that makes the poem quite humorous.

Alice the camel has five humps.

Alice the camel has five humps.

Alice the camel has five humps.

So go, Alice, go!

As I Was Going

by Anonymous

‘As I Was Going by Charing Cross’ was first recorded in the 1840s. But, it likely dates to an early decade. It’s thought that this nursery rhyme was likely shared through street cries or chants.

This is a famous English nursery rhyme that includes allusion to real people and real places. The poem was first recorded in the 1840s but is still sung, in a few different variations, today. The poem is quite short in its original form, lasting only four lines, but it still lovingly sung around the world.

As I was going by Charing Cross,

I saw a black man upon a black horse;

They told me it was King Charles the First-

Explore more poems about Children's Poetry


by Ena Hawken

‘Bunnies’ by Ena Hawken is a light-hearted poem zooming in on one natural trait of rabbits. The poem caters to children with its short retainable stanzas, rhyme, and meter akin to that of a nursery rhyme. By its nature of telling of bunnies, the poem is also regarded as an Easter poem.

This piece is evidently children's poetry. The topic, short stanzas, rhyme, meter, and swinging rhythm are similar to those of nursery rhymes, which generally cater to children. The poem itself was written by an author of children's books; therefore, the nature of this poem cannot be overemphasized.

Every little bunny

Has a habit that is funny.


Teddy Bear

by Alan Alexander Milne

In ‘Teddy Bear,’ the titular stuffed bear frets about his chubby body. A chance encounter with a plump passerby helps Teddy realize that fat men can still be held in high esteem, giving him newfound confidence about his appearance.

This poem is a lovely example of how children's poetry can be a witty and charming offering for both adults and children. Teddy's plight is realized in a series of rhyming couplets, and the pride he learns to take in his tubbiness can resonate with people of all ages.

A bear, however hard he tries,

Grows tubby without exercise.

Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,

Which is not to be wondered at;

Macavity: The Mystery Cat

by T.S. Eliot

‘Macavity: The Mystery Cat’ is a light verse presenting the amusing crimes of the superhuman cat – Macavity.

'Macavity: The Mystery Cat' is children's poetry as it invents an enigmatic fictitious character performing fantastic antics while entertaining the readers with humor and wit. It is a part of Eliot's only light poetry collection, 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats', which includes the poems that Eliot wrote for his Godchildren during the 1930s.

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—

For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

The Naming Of Cats

by T.S. Eliot

‘The Naming of Cats’ is a light verse explaining how cats have three different names: a family name, a peculiar name, and a secretive name.

'The Naming of Cats' is a children's poetry from Eliot's collection called 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,' which contained poems he wrote in letters for his Godchildren. The poem carries a whimsical issue with a song-like quality and playful language while alluding to children's literature.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn’t just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

The Song of the Jellicles

by T.S. Eliot

‘The Song of the Jellicles’ introduces merry and bright felines – Jellicle cats awaiting to dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.

'The Song of the Jellicles' is children's poetry as the poem was written for Eliot's Godchildren. The poem describes a whimsical and magical world of Jellicle cats where they rest, dance, celebrate, and have fun. The poem is enjoyable, with playful, poetic language employing repetition, anaphora, and alliteration.

Jellicle Cats come out to-night

Jellicle Cats come one come all:

The Jellicle Moon is shining bright—

Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

Chocolate Cake

by Michael Rosen

‘Chocolate Cake’ by Michael Rosen is an upbeat children’s poem that describes a child’s lack of control when it comes to his favorite dessert. 

This is a children's poem that follows the speaker as a young boy and one night of compulsive cake-eating. His mother is disappointed to find out that he ate an entire chocolate cake during the night.

I love chocolate cake.

And when I was a boy

I loved it even more.


by Lewis Carroll

‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll is a brilliant nonsense poem. It tells the story of one person’s quest to slay the Jabberwock and the incredible creatures they meet along the way.

Carrol's poetry is often classified as children's literature due to its playful and imaginative nature. 'Jabberwocky' is a great example of this, challenging young readers to expand their minds and engage with language in new and exciting ways.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

A Friend’s Greeting

by Edgar Guest

Edgar Guest’s ‘A Friend’s Greeting’ is a heart-touching poem about a speaker’s gratitude for his dearest friend. This poem is written in the form of a greeting in verse.

I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;

I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be;

I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day

As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.

A Wise Old Owl

by Anonymous

‘A Wise Old Owl’ is an English nursery rhyme. It depicts the qualities an owl has that make him wise and worthy of admiration.

Aiken Drum

by Anonymous

‘Aiken Drum’ is an interesting Scottish folksong. It dates back to 1820 and describes what one strange man’s clothes are made out of.

Animal Fair

by Anonymous

‘Animal Fair’ is a fun nursery rhyme that describes the actions of a monkey and an elephant, which ends with a cliffhanger.

I went to the animal fair,

The birds and the beasts were there;

The big baboon by the light of the moon

Was combing his auburn hair.

Being Brave at Night

by Edgar Guest

‘Being Brave at Night’ is written by the American poet Edgar Albert Guest and it was published in his poetry collection Rhymes of Childhood. The speaker of this piece talks about how he is not afraid of anything that comes across to terrify him at night.

Bleezer’s Ice Cream

by Jack Prelutsky

Have you ever gone to an ice cream store selling twenty-eight different flavors of literally everything? You’ll be doing yourself a favor by visiting BLEEZER’S ICE CREAM STORE.

Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea

by Anonymous

‘Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea’ is a traditional English folk song and nursery rhyme. It describes a speaker’s longing for her love, Bobby Shafto, who is out on a sea voyage.

Buckingham Palace

by Alan Alexander Milne

‘Buckingham Palace’ is one of the clever poems that A.A. Milne wrote featuring his famous characters from the Winnie-the-Pooh books. It depicts Alice and Christopher’s trip to see the changing of the guard.


by Anonymous

‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ is a well-known chant from the story of “Jack the Giant Killer.” Dating back to at least the early 1700s, the compelling and entertaining story tells of a young boy’s daring feats and his bravery.

Flower On the Road

by Chitra Padmanabhan

‘Flower On the Road’ by Chitra Padmanabhan is a sweet and simple children’s poem that emphasizes everyone’s ability to bring joy to the world, no matter their size.

We're glad you like visiting Poem Analysis...

We've got everything you need to master poetry

But, are you ready to take your learning

to the next level?