Poems to read with children

“This girl

so small

want to be a ballet dancer.

It knows no pity or vice versa

but knows how to stand on tiptoe.”

These verses come from the poem “A Bailarina”, by Cecília Meireles, which is one of the best known among the poems children. The rhymes, playing with musical notes and telling the story of a talented girl who dreamed of becoming a ballerina, marked the childhood of many adults.

Poems are a great way to introduce children to the magic of words. In each verse, the poets reveal a whole new universe by playing with the rhymes and sounds of the words and making metaphors and even funny puns. From the poetic lines, which can consist of phrases with nursery rhymes to great metaphors, children expand their vocabulary, develop language and speech, in addition to being stimulated to exercise their imagination.

Poets every child should read

Poetry is an extremely enriching literary genre for children, as short poems and simple sentences begin to interest little ones in the infinite possibilities that words can offer. In this way, the chance that children who read poems will become independent readers in adulthood is even greater.

great authors of children’s books they are also poets that the little ones should know. After all, they created works that crossed time and marked the lives of many generations.

Meet the poets below to present to children and, shortly after, check 15 poems to read with family that we selected.

Cecilia Meireles

Cecília Meireles is considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets and artists. In her career she not only devoted herself to painting, but also worked as a journalist, educator and writer, areas in which she fought for education and children’s rights.

Jose Paulo Paes

José Paulo Paes was a well-known Brazilian poet, translator and literary critic. in your book “Poems to Play” he presents various word games in his poetry and uses the alphabet in a playful and fun way to awaken children’s creativity.

Leo Cunha

Leo Cunha is a Brazilian journalist, writer and translator. With over 60 children’s books published, the miner who has already written in collaboration with the author Tino Freitasstimulates the imagination of the little ones through the playful means presented in his works.

Manuel Bandeira

The famous poet, professor and literary critic Manuel Bandeira was one of the great names of Brazilian modernism. Among his works there are several short poems that can be read with children.

Mario Quintana

The poet and journalist Mário Quintana also wrote several works for children, including poems, in addition to winning the Jabuti Prize in 1981 as Literary Personality of the Year. Part of the collection can be found in Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana, located in Porto Alegre.

Marina Colasanti

Marina Colasanti, winner of the Jabuti Prize for Literature eight times in different categories, including Poetry with her collection of poems “Passageira em Trânsito”, is a famous Brazilian writer, poet and journalist. Among his works were more than twenty books published between 1989 and 2019, devoted to children.

Olavo Bilaci

Olavo Bilac, one of the founders of the Academia Brasileira de Letras, has been considered the prince of poets since 1907. The title came after the publication of his work “Poesias”. In addition to being a poet, he was also a journalist and columnist and became known for his concern for children’s literature.

Pedro Bandeira

With over 80 books published, Pedro Bandeira is a renowned children’s writer who has sold over 23 million copies of his works. In 1986 he won the Jabuti Prize in the Children’s Literature category.

Ruth Rocha

Ruth Rocha has been a member of the Academia Brasileira de Letras since 2007 and is a well-known Brazilian children’s author. She won the Jabuti Literature Prize in several categories.

Tatiana Belinky

Tatiana Belinky, one of the big names in Brazilian children’s literature, took her works to theater and television. In an irreverent and humorous way, she wrote, translated and edited more than 250 children’s books.

Vinicius de Moraes

Vinicius de Moraes, known as a “putinha”, also published several works aimed at children. For children, his poems focused on the figure of animals, some of which were adapted to music in a collaboration between the poet and the musician Toquinho.

15 poems to read as a family

Whether it’s full of nursery rhyme phrases or that capture the imagination, check out a list of short poems to read with children.

1. The Ballerina – Cecilia Meireles

this girl

so small

want to be a ballet dancer.

It knows no pity or vice versa

but knows how to stand on tiptoe.

You know me or you don’t

But bend the body this way and that

You know neither there nor yourself,

but close your eyes and smile.

Wheel, wheel, wheel, with arms in the air

and does not get dizzy or out of place.

Put a star and a veil in your hair

and says it fell from the sky.

this girl

so small

want to be a ballet dancer.

But then forget all the dances,

and also wants to sleep like other children.

2. The Echo – Cecilia Meireles

The boy asks the echo

Where is he hiding?

But the echo only answers: Where? Where?

The boy also asks him:

Echo, come for a walk with me!

But don’t know if the echo is a friend

or enemy.

Because he only hears him say: Migo!

3. A Canção dos tamanquinhos – Cecília Meireles

Swap… Swap… Swap… Swap…

light light,

trade… trade… trade… trade…

the clogs sing…

dawn. trade… trade…

through the doors of the neighbors

knock, Swap… Swap…

the clogs sing…

It rains. Swap… Swap… Swap…

in the silence of the paths

flooded, exchange… exchange…

the clogs sing…

And even, trade… trade…

those who have silk and ermines,

dream, trade… trade… trade…

with your pair of clogs…

4. Invitation – José Paulo Paes


plays with words

how to play

with ball, kite, spinning top.

only that

ball, parrot, tol

from playing so much


Words not:

the more you play

with them

remains younger.

like river water

which is always new water.

like every day

that’s always a new day.

Shall we play poetry?

5. Where – Jose Paulo Paes

U.S! how dark!

Where is the light?

Finger made black.

Where’s the finger?

It got in the nose.

Where’s the nose?

Take a sneeze.

Where’s the sneeze?

It stayed in the scarf.

Where’s the scarf?

Inside the bag.

Where’s the bag?

It was with the pants.

Where are the pants?

In the closet.

Where is the wardrobe?

Locked key.

Where is the key?

Man took.

Where’s the guy?


out of light.

U.S! How dark!

6. The Seeing Giraffe – Leo Cunha








the fag

it even seemed

saw that


7. Iron Train – Manuel Bandeira

Coffee with bread

Coffee with bread

Coffee with bread

Virgin Mary who was this driver?

Well yes

Coffee with bread

Well yes

Coffee with bread

fly, smoke

run, fence

oh you stoker

set fire

in the oven

What I need

all the best

all the best

all the best


run away, bug

run away people

pass bridge

pass on mail

pass duck

pass os

cattle pass

pass tak

from ingazeira

leaned forward

What a desire

To sing!


When will I arrest myself?

in sugar cane

any cane foot

was an officer


Nice girl

of the green dress

give me your mouth

to quench my thirst


I go to mimbora flew mimbora

I don’t like it here

I was born in the wilderness

I am from Ouricuri


i’m going fast

I’m running

i’m going all the way

that I take alone

Some people

Some people

Some people…

8. Swallow – Manuel Bandeira

swallow outside says:

– “I spent the day idly!”

Swallow, Swallow, my song is sadder!

I’ve spent my life for nothing, for nothing…

9. Poeminha do Contra – Mario Quintana

All those out there

come my way,

They will pass.

I little bird!

10. The Cuckoo – Marina Colasanti

smarter than crazy

this is the portrait of the cuckoo.

Here’s one that won’t kill itself

make a stocking

And don’t even think about flapping

to build the house.

The right deal for him

is to live in someone else’s house,

and abuse is not even touched.

Your eggs, quick,

put it in the neighbors nest

then go enjoy some free time

while the neighbor is shocking

11. The Doll – Olavo Bilac

Leaving the ball and shuttle,

What they were just playing with

Because of a doll,

Two girls were fighting.

The first said, “It’s mine!”

– “It’s mine!” the other screamed;

And no one was stopped,

The doll didn’t even let go.

Who has the most (poor!)

It was the doll. It already had

All clothes torn,

And the face is crumpled.

They pulled so hard for her,

That the poor was torn in two,

Losing the yellow burlap

which formed the filling.

And after so much fatigue,

Returning to the ball and shuttle,

Both, because of the quarrel,

They lost the doll…

12. Pontinho de Vista – Pedro Bandeira

I’m small, they tell me,

and I get very angry.

I have to look at everyone

with the chin up.

But if an ant could talk

and see me from the ground,

I would definitely say:

“My goodness, what a big guy!”

13. Baile no Sereno – Ruth Rocha

Singer sings sorrow,

sing of joy too.

It’s in your nature

sing the bad and the good.

Because he’s inside him

the number that has the number…

So when the sea dries up,

if you charge to buy shoes,

when dog turns into cat,

if the dumb can speak,

When it rains,

if cockroach is high end,

When the ambassador goes up,

Singer will be silent.

14. Worms – Tatiana Belinky

When seeing an old coroca

bake a worm fillet

the Zé Minhocão

told his brother:

“Don’t you think it’s better to go to the study?”

15. The Penguin – Vinicius de Moraes

Good morning, penguin

where are you going

Be in a hurry?

i’m not bad

Do not be afraid

Scared of me.

I just wish

give a compliment

In your jackfruit hat

Or very slightly

pull the tail

From your coat.

#Poems #read #children

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