Today is officially Earth Day 2021 so it only seems fitting that I share with you ‘Coyote’s Soundbite - A Poem For Our Planet’ - a very clever and funny call to action... ‘Excitement spreads like wildfire through the jungle. Earth-goddesses are planning a conference! From Australia to Antarctica, the Amazon to Africa, goddesses will … Continue reading Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Coyote’s Soundbite – A Poem for Our Planet,’ by John Agard, illustrated by Piet Grobler.
I’m always keen to highlight new poetry titles for families & schools to add to their collections as I find it can be a rather overlooked area of the curriculum. There is no excuse for this when such wonderfully observed collections such as ‘Daydreams and Jellybeans’ exist and are just begging to be read aloud … Continue reading ‘Daydreams and Jellybeans: Poems to Read Aloud,’ by Alex Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell.
Talking from personal experience as a teacher and English subject lead, poetry can often get overlooked by busy teachers lacking confidence and time. This is such a loss for pupils as poetry is a masterclass in precise language choices and how to tell a story on a page. It can make you laugh, cry or … Continue reading Guest post by poet James Carter – how to enthuse children whilst delivering online.
How about giving something a little this Christmas - the gift of poetry. This beautiful volume would be the perfect introduction to the world of poetry for any teenager or adult. Every day from the 1st December through to the 29th February has at least two poems for readers to enjoy and be inspired by. … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 13 ‘A Poem for Every Winter Day,’ edited by Allie Esiri.
Well the shortlist for this year’s CLiPPA (CLOE Children’s Poetry Award) has been announced and we can all start making some new additions to our poetry diets. As well as sharing that shortlist with you now, I also have a piece from one of the nominees, A.F. Harrold about just how he whittled down the … Continue reading The CLiPPA 2020 – with a special piece from A.F. Harrold
I recently had the great pleasure of chatting to poet, performer and educator, Neal Zetter, on my Library Girl and Book Boy podcast (click HERE to listen). He talked about the importance of poetry in schools, how to get children engaged with poems and about his plans for delivering online workshops whilst large gatherings are … Continue reading ‘Gorilla Ballerina: A Book of Bonkers Animal Poems,’ by Neal Zetter, illustrated by Julian Mosedale.
In my experience, poetry is often overlooked in school and the collection of anthologies available for pupils and staff is often dated or tatty. But why? Why?! Poetry is the ultimate ‘quick-read’ - it can take seconds to read and enjoy a poem. Perfect to fit in a spare moment, to giggle over during independent … Continue reading Poetry in Motion
With time for music and dance being squeezed out of the primary school timetable, it seems important that we use every means necessary to encourage and inspire a love of music and dancing in children. This varied selection of picture is sure to cause music-making and merriment amongst their readers. ‘Jazz Dog’ by Marie Voigt … Continue reading Make a Song and Dance about it – books which celebrate the arts.
The National Curriculum states that children should be exposed to a wide range of texts, including those from our own cultural heritage. So what exactly does that mean? You may have heard these books referred to as ‘heritage texts’ or ‘classics.’ Either way, we aren’t lucky to have a wealth of classic children’s books to … Continue reading Introducing classic texts across the primary school: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (as seen at Reading Rocks South)
In my experience, poetry can be an area often overlooked in schools. But why? Personally, I didn’t feel that I knew enough about composing poetry to teach it properly. But what about sharing poems, performing poems, dipping into a volume and seeing what grabs you? That’s the beauty of a good poetry book and the … Continue reading The CLiPPA Shortlist (premier poetry picks)
Teaching the water cycle at school can be rather a dry subject (excuse the bad joke), but these two gorgeous picture books should help make the whole experience a little more enjoyable! Once Upon a Raindrop - The Story Of Water by James Carter, illustrated by Nomoco (Little Tiger Group) Where does water come from? … Continue reading Water, water everywhere…
A year ago, a stunningly beautiful non-fiction book was published which caused a huge sensation in the media and amongst educators, with crowd-funding campaigns being launched to get thousands of copies into schools. ‘The Lost Words’ is a magical tome full of the disappearing language of the wild. This enchanting book aims to revive words … Continue reading ‘The Lost Words,’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris.
I am delighted to have been asked to host a special ‘National Poetry Day’ (on the 4th of October this year) post based on looking at ways of using the amazing variety of poems in this glorious anthology within the classroom. ‘I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree’ is one of Nosy Crow’s most … Continue reading ‘I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree,’ curated by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.
I am delighted to host something a little different on my blog today: a brilliant new poetry anthology celebrating female poets across the ages. This new collection from anthologist Ana Sampson, features 150 stunning poems from fierce and fabulous women worldwide. There is such a wonderfully diverse range of poets featured: suffragettes, aristocrats, school girls. … Continue reading ‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.
It’s a damp, grey bank holiday Monday so what is there to do apart from crack open the latest rib-tickling collection of poetry from Joshua Seigal? The boys were getting restless when rain cancelled play so I whipped open this book and started reading. Soon they were giggling along as we read about cavemen teachers, … Continue reading ‘I Bet I Can Make You Laugh,’ by Joshua Seigal and Friends, illustrations by Tim Wesson.
The perfect collection of football poems to enjoy regardless of the highs and lows of the World Cup. This cracking collection of carefully curated poems has been in training for this year’s World Cup and is back and better than ever! From the best-selling poet, John Foster and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Korky Paul, this … Continue reading ‘Fantastic Football Poems,’ by John Foster and Korky Paul.
I was delighted to be invited to participate in the blog tour for this beautiful mother-daughter collaboration. The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a box on the living room floor. They sailed away for a year and a day and these are the things that they saw... Join two curious children on … Continue reading ‘The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat,’ by Coral Rumble, illustrated by Charlotte Cooke.
Do Poems give you superpowers? Read this brilliant A-Z of poems about people, pets and other creatures by John Hegley to find out. My favourite poem is called 'Unusual Unicorn in the School.' What would you think if your school suddenly bought a pet unicorn? Would you be impressed? What magical creature would you like … Continue reading ‘I am a Poetato’