Guest piece: ‘Why I Write Poetry and You Should Too’ from the writer of ‘Bright Bursts of Colour,’ Matt Goodfellow.

I think that poetry is often a vastly neglected area of the school curriculum. Reading, writing, and enjoying poetry should be a regular part of a pupil’s literary diet, not something squashed into a spare week at the end of a half term. For anyone needing some poetic inspiration, you need to take a look … Continue reading Guest piece: ‘Why I Write Poetry and You Should Too’ from the writer of ‘Bright Bursts of Colour,’ Matt Goodfellow.

‘50 Ways to Score a Goal and other Football Poems,’ by Brian Bilston, cover by Joe Berger.

I love a good collection of poetry, and what could be wetter than a volume all about the beautiful game? Perfect for sharing in the odd spare minute or to inspire some cheering from the terraces (or performing of poetry!) ‘50 Ways to Score a Goal and Other Football Poems shows Brian Bilston's genuine love … Continue reading ‘50 Ways to Score a Goal and other Football Poems,’ by Brian Bilston, cover by Joe Berger.

Earth Day 2021 Spotlight: ‘Coyote’s Soundbite – A Poem for Our Planet,’ by John Agard, illustrated by Piet Grobler.

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.

‘Daydreams and Jellybeans: Poems to Read Aloud,’ by Alex Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell.

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.

Guest post by poet James Carter – how to enthuse children whilst delivering online.

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.

Christmas Advent – Day 13 ‘A Poem for Every Winter Day,’ edited by Allie Esiri.

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.

‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

I’m delighted to be part of Lantana Publishing’s campaign to ensure that children of colour see themselves represented in the books they receive this Christmas. To help make this happen, they’ve given me a special discount code for people to use on their website up until the 18th December. It’s: BOOKSUPERHERO15. For every book purchased, … Continue reading ‘A Story About Afiya,’ by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha.

‘Gorilla Ballerina: A Book of Bonkers Animal Poems,’ by Neal Zetter, illustrated by Julian Mosedale.

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.

#TuesdayReviewsDay: ‘When I Coloured in the World,’ by Ahmadreza Ahmadi, illustrated by Ahsan Abdollahi, translated by Azita Rassi.

As regular readers of this blog and my Twitter feed might know, I am a huge fan of the beautiful and diverse picture books published by Tiny Owl Books. That’s why I was so pleased that they’ve launched YouTube channel to share their stories with a wider audience, and honoured to be asked to record … Continue reading #TuesdayReviewsDay: ‘When I Coloured in the World,’ by Ahmadreza Ahmadi, illustrated by Ahsan Abdollahi, translated by Azita Rassi.

Make a Song and Dance about it – books which celebrate the arts.

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.

‘Owen and the Soldier,’ by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Barrington Stoke produce some of the very best short, accessible stories by some of the very best current children’s authors. Although specially produced to be easy on the eye for dyslexic readers, their brilliant collection is perfect for anyone who enjoys short, pacey reads. Lisa Thompson’s debut for Barrington Stoke fits in perfectly. Owen and his … Continue reading ‘Owen and the Soldier,’ by Lisa Thompson, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

‘Flights Of Fancy – stories, pictures and inspiration from ten Children’s Laureates,’ from Walker Books.

This year marks twenty years of the Waterstones Children’s Laureateship, a collection of inspirational individuals committed to promoting a love of reading, books and illustration.  To celebrate, Walker Books have compiled this very special anthology which is sure to be treasured by anyone with a love of children’s books. Readers in the U.K. have benefitted … Continue reading ‘Flights Of Fancy – stories, pictures and inspiration from ten Children’s Laureates,’ from Walker Books.

Welcome to the Lollies 2018 – being a judge & introducing the short-list.

I am very honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for the Lollies 2018 - a celebration of some of the funniest children’s reads out there! I have always believed in the power of funny books to help transform children into readers and to address tricky issues in an accessible way. Unfortunately, some people … Continue reading Welcome to the Lollies 2018 – being a judge & introducing the short-list.

‘The Lost Words,’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris.

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 The Seed That Grew The Tree,’ curated by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon.

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.

‘She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women,’ by Ana Sampson.

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.