Chrissie Gittins is an award-winning poetry writer for children and adults, and also writes short stories and plays. Her poems have been widely anthologised and animated for Poetry Pie and CBeebies on TV. Not only has she been visiting schools as a poet for over 20 years, she has written 5 children’s poetry collections. Now You See Me, Now You…, illustrated by Gunnlavg Moen, and I Don’t Want an Avocado, illustrated by Kev Adamson, were shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award. Her latest book is Adder, Bluebell, Lobster, illustrated by Paul Bommer. Her website is here.
Are Children Ever Too Young For Poetry?
I live next door to twins – Billie and Milo. When they were three years old I discovered that Billie called her dollies Baby Door and Baby Floor. This begged for a poem. I wrote ‘Billie’s Dollies’ and took a copy next door to show her. The family had visitors and I was asked to read/perform the poem to them all. There was much laughter.
Milo also wanted a poem. He is mad about leaf blowers and asked if I would write a poem about a leaf blower, which I did. Their parents framed both poems and hung them on the wall in their bedroom. Just before they got into bed they would say the poems together. Before they could read them they would run their fingers along the lines as they remembered them. They enjoyed the rhymes and could pick out their names and recognise repeated words. After their parents left the room they would say the lines to each other.
I’m so pleased that I contributed in a small way to the twins learning to read, and to their enjoyment of poetry.
‘Milo the Leaf Blower’ will appear in the anthology ‘Poems Out Loud’ published by Penguin in September 2019.
Billie has two dollies,
Each dolly has a name,
One dolly is called Baby Door,
The other one’s called Baby Floor.
Billie throws Baby Floor to the ceiling,
Then she pushes Baby Door to the wall,
They all look out of the window,
Then Billie shouts ‘More! More! More!’
They all go into the garden,
Where the dollies are planted in soil,
Soon the two beautiful dollies,
Become Four! Four! Four!
© Chrissie Gittins
Milo The Leaf Blower
Milo is a Leaf Blower,
He blows every single leaf,
They spin and twirl and hit the ground –
He catches three leaves in his teeth.
The golden leaves lie in a pile,
They cover Milo’s nose,
No matter how much Milo blows –
They pile up on his toes.
Milo blows and blows the leaves,
The orange and the red,
But if the wind blows North to West –
They pile up on his head!
© Chrissie Gittins