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What are some good short poems for kids?

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Quick Answer

Good short poems for kids include "About the Teeth of Sharks" by John Ciardi and Donald Hall's "Valentine." The poems use humor and expressive rhyme, both great qualities for children's poems.

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Full Answer

In "About the Teeth of Sharks," the narrator explains to the listener what the teeth of sharks are like and asks the listener to take a closer look to see in more detail. In the first stanza, the narrator says, "One row above, one row beneath," then in the second stanza he asks the reader to take a closer look and asks, "Do you find/ It has another row behind?" The narrator asks the listener to come even closer and hold on to his hat, just in case. As the listener gets a tad too close, the narrator says "look in... Look out!" He laments at the end that he'll never know fully about the teeth of sharks because it is suggested the shark has eaten the listener who got too close at the narrator's prompting.

Donald Hall's "Valentine" uses an ingenious rhyming pattern that makes it easy for young kids to read and memorize it. The novel has three stanzas, with the first two lines of each expressing fun facts about the world, such as "Chipmunks jump, and/ Greensnakes slither," and second two lines of each stanza express the nature of the narrator's feeling for his beloved, "Rather burst than/ Not be with her." It builds up in this way until the narrator concludes, "Nothing else/ But us can matter."

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