Unexpected and Notable Children's Books about Poets
William Carlos Williams
Rumi by Demi
"Will You Read to Me"
Hamlet the pig's family isn't interested in poetry, so he reads his poems to his reflection in the pond. His sensitive works draw an audience of all the animals within listening distance. The be-your-own-pig message isn't subtle, but the text's creative imagery will appeal to budding poets, and the pastoral illustrations add personality to Cazet's characters and setting.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More
(3) 4-6 Illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. A useful, attractive compendium of poetry and facts celebrating holidays, inventions, famous people, historical events, and, mostly, poets. Whatever the subject, Hopkins offers an appropriate poem--for Mother's Day, for instance, Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son"; for Edward Lear's birthday, two limericks. A spacious design accommodates the disparate elements; Alcorn's illustrations, though large and cheerful, don't overwhelm the poems. Ind.
Notable (amongst the many many) - an abundance of books about Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou, Robert Frost, Phyllis Wheatley, Emma Lazarus, and Shakespeare are available to those interested. I picked 3 titles from that "widely discussed" category that I thought looked the most interesting.
Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen
Spires, Elizabeth The Mouse of Amherst
1-3 Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Emmaline, a white mouse, takes up residence in the wainscoting of Emily Dickinson's bedroom, discovering a kindred soul as well as her own talent for penning poetry. Mouse and "Myth," as the townspeople of Amherst called Dickinson, share their verse back and forth; in Emmaline's writings Spires cleverly mimics Dickinson's style. Fanciful line drawings illustrate this small, charming introduction to the work of a great poet.
For the Teens - YA books about poets
Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets: The Mad, the Bad, and the Dangerous
Snyder, Jane McIntosh Sappho
YA Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians series. The biographers forthrightly discuss how their subjects' homosexuality may have informed their professional achievements and affected their lives on the whole. At the same time, readers are made aware of the difficulty of consigning people to such rigid categories as 'gay' or 'straight.' Thoughtful teens, regardless of their sexual orientation, should find themselves enlightened. Bib., ind.
Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley (I just requested this one ILL)
Angelmonster by Veronica Bennett
"Sixteen-year-old Mary elopes with an older (and married) poet, forsaking her family to bear his child. But her passionate life of ideals is undercut with a darkness that erupts in scandal, heartbreak, and the nightmarish imaginings that will become Frankenstein. Rather than developing its historical underpinnings, this dramatic reinvention of Mary Shelley's life explores the Romantic concepts of love and creation. "