Poetry is rich with imagery, metaphor, rhythm, and the sounds of language – all things that young children respond to.  The mind of the young child retains rhymes, making poetry an effective tool for teaching.  Poetry plays with words and language, which makes it irresistible to children

Poetry books to delight your pre-readers:

The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky
Prelutsky offers a collection of 28 nonsensical poems, many of which play with American geography.  The poems, which range from simple to more complex, are complemented by the watercolor illustrations of Petra Mathers.
On the Wing by Douglas Florian 
This engaging anthology of humorous, playful poems about a wide variety of birds includes colorful watercolor illustrations.
Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O’Connell George 
A series of short poems emerges as a young boy folds origami animals and imagines the story and thoughts of each animal. 
Creatures of Earth, Sea, and Sky: Poems by Georgia Heard 
Various animals, from a hummingbird to an eagle, a snake to an elephant, are highlighted in this collection of 17 poems.
Touch the Poem by Arnold Adoff
This collection of poems celebrates the senses.  Seeing, feeling, tasting, hearing, and smelling are all portrayed from the perspective of a child.