Yuck and Yum by Joshua Seigal and Neal Zetter

 

A feast of funny food poems, accompanied by some really very dodgy laugh-out-loud facts, except for the ones that are clearly true, such as 99.4% of children say they would prefer Brussel sprouts to chocolate if they had to choose one or the other for a snack.

These are read-out-loud poems, and having heard the one reproduced below performed by Neal, extremely effective and great fun.

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Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

 

What’s the longest fruit you’ve seen?

Found in milkshake, yoghurt and ice cream

When they’re on my plate I lick it clean

A tremendous taste

Too good to waste

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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You’ll slip upon their slimy skin

So put the peel into the bin

What word doesn’t stop after it begins?

Simply unending

I’m always bending my

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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You can mash them

You can squash them

You can squish them

You can gulp them

You can fry them

You can spread them

You can pound them

You can pulp them

When I ask what food you’ve had today

I’m hoping that you’re going to say

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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Monkeys eat them at the zoo

They’re yellow and black not orange and blue

Ideal in soup or in a stew

They’re versatile

Shaped like a smile

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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Buy them by the kilo, pound or bunch

Stick them in your sandwich box for lunch

They’re the ideal snack when it comes to the crunch

Travelling all the way from Jamaica

What fruit’s got a name that’s a record breaker?

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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Before you get some from the store

Shout out this poem’s title once more

Ba nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana

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© Neal Zetter

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My favourite poem by Joshua Seigal is By Royal Appointment. I’m pretty sure she does like a certain dark brown spread for toast. Who doesn’t?

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Yuck and Yum, a Feast of Funny Food Poems by Joshua Seigal and Neal Zetter, Troika, is available here.

 

 

 

Posted in #AtoZChallenge, Poetry Competition

COMPETITION NOW OPEN!!! #AtoZChallenge #AtoZChallenge

Hidden in the A-Z of Children’s Poets there are FOUR poets who don’t exist – their names are the anagrams of real poets on the list, each of whom have written a false bio and a poem for their alter-ego! Guess all four and you stand a chance of winning Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens.

To read through the entries more easily you can access them at the top of the page under the tab: A-Z List of Children’s Poets.

It’s now the end of the A-Z send and time to send your entries to poetryfunfactory @ gmail.com. Include your name, the answers, email address and U.K. address. The competition closes on 12 May. Judgement is final. The winner will be informed by email and the result posted here.

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

A is for Author and Children’s Poet Philip Ardagh, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

© Dotty Hendrix

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Philip Ardagh

Best known as an author of children’s prose (and for his beard), Philip Ardagh also writes poetry for all ages; his poems appearing in a variety of anthologies. These include Green Glass Beads, collected by Jacqueline Wilson, Read Me and Laugh, collected by Gaby Morgan, A Million Brilliant Poems (part one), collected by Roger Stevens, and Puppy Poems  collected by Gaby Morgan. This is Philip on Tumblr and on Twitter. I know Philip as a very, very funny man – this poem doesn’t reflect that, but it is one of my favourites of his:

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Goodbye, Good Boy

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Old, old friend.

Stiff-boned now,

Like Grandma’s fingers.

My first true love.

I bury my face in your fur,

Black, now streaked with white.

You smell of sunshine

And golden days of play.

You manage to lift your head

And look at me with trusting

Amber eyes.

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I recall your puppy days

And all we’ve shared together since.

The secrets that I’ve told you,

Best dog. Best friend.

A part of me forever.

Kind hands lift you from me.

It is time.

I will be with you until the end, boy.

I’m right here at your side.

And afterwards? You will live

In my thoughts,

the happiest wet-nosed memory of all.

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But first the pain.

Who knew unhappiness

Could feel like this?

You thump your tail on the

stainless-steel table.

My heart-bursting wish,

Trough burning eyes,

To turn back time.

Goodbye, Good boy.

Good dog.

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© Philip Ardagh

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

A is for Poet and Children’s Poet Moira Andrew, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Moira Andrew

Moira Andrew was born and educated in Scotland, became a primary teacher, worked her way up to Assistant Head, then lectured in education at Craigie College of Education, Ayr before moving to Bristol where she was Head Teacher of a primary school. During the 80s, 90s and into the 2000s she wrote stories and poetry for children. Here most recent poetry collection is Wish a Wish, illustrated by Anna PopescuPoetry Space, 2016available here. Moira’s website is here.

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This is one of Moira’s gorgeous poems:

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Portrait of a Dragon

 

If I were an artist

I’d paint the portrait

of a dragon.

 

To do a proper job

I’d borrow colours

from the world.

 

For his back I’d

need a mountain range,

all misty blue.

 

For spikes I’d use

dark fir trees pointing

to the sky

 

For overlapping scales

I’d squeeze dye from

bright anemones.

 

I’d gild his claws

like shining swords

with starlight.

 

His tail would be

a river, silver

in the sun.

 

For his head, the

secret green of forests

and deep seas.

 

And his eyes would

glow like embers in

a tinker’s fire.

 

But I’d keep the best

till last.  For his

hot breath

 

I’d use all reds and

yellows – crocus, saffron,

peony, poppy,

 

geranium, cyclamen, rose –

and fierce orange flames

from a marigold.

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© Moira Andrew (First published in Dragon Poems, by John Foster & Korky Paul, (OUP 1991)

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

A is for Emergency Children’s Poet Deborah Alma, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Deborah Alma

Deborah Alma is the Emergency Poet in her vintage ambulance which she takes to schools and libraries and festivals. She has edited three adult poetry books and written her own collection of poems too. She lives with her partner the poet James Sheard on a hillside in Powys, Wales with a cat called Little My and a sheepdog called Daisy. Her website is here.

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Here is one of Deborah’s poems, written in response to the picture shown:

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The Spirit of the House

from the painting by August Macke 1910

 

A smug cat, a cosy cat, a passing cat,

a blue striped jug, with the light catching

 

the glaze, its dazzle closes the eyes

of the cat -it is a jug of cream.

 

A scented geranium, red and jaunty

in a terracotta pot.

 

Three small oranges and a blue dish

to hold the finger rubs of friends around its rim

 

always, always when they come, they reach out

to stroke the leaves, to rub the dish,

 

to add to the stroked smug of the cat,

to peel an orange.

 

There they are my friends, their backs

to the wall as they bend and bow

 

to half heard music, from the times we danced

to the times we laughed.

 

A smug cat, a cosy cat, a passing cat.

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© Deborah Alma

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

A is for Adisa the Verbaliser #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Adisa the Verbaliser

Adisa was born with a silver tongue and a head full of rhymes. He exploded onto the spoken word scene in 1993. His mango flavoured metaphors and his larva-fuelled performances soon became legendary on the London performance poetry circuit. One year after taking his show on the road, Adisa landed first place in a National competition titled New Performance Poet of the Year. Benjamin Zephaniah, who was one of the judges said: “Adisa is the future. It’s so good to have something to look forward to.” Adisa’s really amazing website with contact info is here.

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Here is one of his fabulous poems:

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I am carnival

 

London is no longer naked

Picasso’s brush has kissed human skin

The world unites on one doorstep

Now the masquerade can begin

 

A million voices crescendo

All speaking the same tongue

The sound system speaker pays respect

To the godfarther the African drum

 

A sea of hands holds the heavens aloft

As if offering the creator a prayer

Baselines embrace slippery waistlines

The rhythm is so moving, even the statues shed a tear

 

Sound bites have no place in this parliament

The government has come to the streets

In this global democracy

The people vote with their feet

 

Some bring red, some bring yellow

Then fly their flags to salute the day

The young find wisdom in an elders face

The old remember the joys of play

 

And above the music

We hang our dreams on the shoulders of hope

Riding this runaway train

And harmonizing on the same note

 

Which sounds like

 

I am London

I am the world

I am Carnival

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© Adisa the Verbaliser

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet Liz Brownlee, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Liz Brownlee

Liz Brownlee is the children’s poet who collated this A-Z (in answer to a survey in the UK which found teachers were mostly unable to name more than one children’s poet). Liz is a National Poetry Day Ambassador, hosts this website, and runs the Twitter feed for @kidspoetsummit. Her latest books are Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, Macmillan, written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, which won the N. Somerset Teachers’ Book awards in 2017,  The Same Inside, Poems about Empathy and Friendship, Macmillan, written with Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens, and Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems, Bloomsbury, written with Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens. Liz loves visiting schools, libraries, literary festivals etc. and has read in town centres to the Southbank Centre accompanied by her assistance dog, Lola. Her website is here and Twitter here..

This is a poem from Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems:

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.© Liz Brownlee

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet Carole Bromley, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Carole Bromley

Carole Bromley lives in York where she has taught in schools, a Sixth Form College and at York University. She now tutors for the Arvon Foundation, the Poetry Society and the Poetry School. She was shortlisted for Manchester Writing for Children Award, and performed at CLiPPA Awards 2016. Her poetry collection for children, Blast Off! illustrated by Cathy Benson, is available here. Carole is available for workshops and readings in schools and at festivals.

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Here is her poem!

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Goldilocks

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I’d listened at the door; they were always there,

the daddy with the voice and the enormous chair,

the mummy with the pinny, stirring the vat;

banging his spoon, their spoilt wee brat.

 

The chance came soon; they were humouring

the kid, swinging him hand to hand,

There there, baby bear let’s leave our bowls,

walk in the forest till the porridge cools.

 

All the more for me; I walked in from the yard

climbed onto daddy’s chair – far too hard.

You know the score – hard, soft, right

hot, cold, fine;  big, small, mine.

 

Point was I had the whole place to myself,

put telly on, took a bath, rearranged a shelf.

Then it was Who’s been sitting in our chairs,

helping themselves? Beds are for bears

 

and this one’s bust. Yeah, yeah, fair cop.

But they chased after me and didn’t stop

till jumping out the window was the only way;

and there’s me thinking they’d ask me to stay.

 

But I’ll be back, you mark my words;

bears living in houses! It’s just absurd;

bears eating porridge, bears wearing frocks –

next time they’re out I’m changing the locks.

 

© Carole Bromley

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet and Illustrator Ed Boxall, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Ed Boxall

Ed Boxall lives in Hastings, a seaside town in the South of England. He is a writer, illustrator, performer and educator and likes to make poems, pictures, stories and songs. He has written and illustrated several picture books but in recent years Ed has realised he loves writing poems best and has his first full collection Me and My Alien Friend which will be published by Troika in 2018. Ed also publishes his work through  ‘The Pearbox Press‘. These books are quite unusual black and white picture books that illustrate Ed’s surreal story-poems. Ed’s favourite is High in The Old Oak Tree about a boy who spends his whole life up a tree. He runs workshops, residencies and special events based on his writing and illustration, and performs in schools, arts centres, galleries and at festivals. Ed’s Website is here.

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Here is one of Ed’s great poems:

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Glitter

 

I know there’s glitter in the cupboard,

In perfect brand new tubes,

But I never get to use it,

My mum’s always got an excuse.

 

She says ‘It’s not long until dinner’

And ‘It always makes such a mess’

I was three when we last used the glitter,

Now I’m nearly ten.

 

Pencils and paper are fine,

To draw cat faced butterflies

But I really need that glitter

For the comets that blast through the skies.

 

For the sparkle of the scarecrow’s treasure

The glisten of the monkey’s crown

For the glimmer of the newborn galaxies

Above a Martian mountain town

 

The stardust that floats through my dreams

Races just out of my reach

But the glitter shut up in the cupboard

Is right there and wants to be free.

 

©Ed Boxall 2013

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet and Performer Ian Bland, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Ian Bland

Ian Bland has work published by Macmillan, Scholastic, AC Black, Oxford University Press and Hands Up Books to name just a few. His poetry was recently featured on BBC1’s Match of the Day and he has performed many times on regional and national radio. Since 2000 Ian has worked as a professional children’s poet and performer and has visited literally thousands of schools, libraries and festivals both here in the UK and all over the world. Ian’s website, where you can buy copies of his books, is here.

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Here is one of his poems:

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Ian Billings, Children’s Poet and Stand-Up Comic, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Ian Billings

As well as being poet, Ian is a children’s author and stand-up comic for kids; his stand up show has taken him round the world, including Brunei where he performed for the Sultan’s grandsons. As an educationalist he has also taken his literacy performance and workshop into 3,500 schools. He has 23 books to his credit! His latest poetry book is Lost Property and can be found here. Ian’s website is here, and Twitter here.

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Here is one of Ian’s poems!

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POEM – DOOR

Dad took our front door
back to the hardware store
He was angry, in a fit.
“Why bring back your door to this hardware store?
It’s odd I have to admit.”
“I brought back this door to this hardware store,
I’m so angry I could spit,
I brought back this door to this hardware store,
‘cos somebody’s already opened it!”

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© Ian Billings

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet Clare Bevan, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Clare Bevan

Clare fell in love with poetry when she was very young. She started writing poetry of her own and one poem about the horrors of hockey was printed in the school magazine. After that, she wrote song lyrics for a local performance; wrote plays in verse for children; poems about the children she taught; and eventually her poems began to appear in proper anthologies! Now her work is in over a hundred poetry books – and in fiction and poetry books of her own such as Ballerina, Fairy, Mermaid and Princess Poems for Macmillan Children’s Books. Clare loves visiting schools to pass on the joy of reading and writing poetry. Read more about Clare here.

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Here is one of Clare’s gorgeous poems:

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The Treasures

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Who will bring me the hush of a feather ?

“I,” screeched the Barn Owl. “Whatever the weather.

 

Who will bring me the shadows that flow ?

“I,” snarled the Tiger. “Wherever I go.”

 

Who will bring me the colours that shine ?

“I,” shrieked the Peacock. “Because they are mine.”

 

Who will bring me the crash of the wave ?

“I,” sang the Dolphin. “Because I am brave.”

 

Who will bring me the secrets of night ?

“I,” called the Bat. “By the moon’s silver light.”

 

Who will bring me the scent of the flower ?

“I,” hummed the Bee. “By the sun’s golden power.”

 

Who will bring me the waterfall’s gleam ?

“I,” sighed the Minnow. “By river and stream.”

 

Who will bring me the strength of the small ?

“I,” cried the Spider. “When webs line your wall.”

 

Who will bring me the shiver of snow ?

“I,” howled the Wolf Cub. “When icicles grow.”

 

And who will bring me a nest, furry warm ?

“I,” squeaked the Rat. “When we hide from the storm…

But who will care for the Treasures we give ?”

 

“I,” said the Child.

“For as long as I live.”

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© Clare Bevan

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

B is for Children’s Poet Debra Bertulis, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Debra Bertulis

Debra Bertulis wanted to be a writer all her life. She now writes children’s poetry, plays and is busy working on a middle grade novel and a collection of her own poetry. As a teacher of speech and drama, Debra is passionate about her work at an outstanding Primary Academy. She has been published in poetry magazines including Caterpillar Magazine, and anthologies, including Is this a Poem? Ed. Roger Stevens, Bloomsbury, and also a recent Bloomsbury Education series by Brian Moses including Poems about the Seasons. Her latest publication is in Joshua Seigal’s upcoming I Bet I can Make you Laugh, Bloomsbury Education. She enjoys visiting schools across the country with Authors Abroad. Her website is here.

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Here is one of Debra’s great poems:

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Mr Snowman

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Monday built our Snowman

Sitting proud and fat

Tuesday gave him a football scarf

And the warmest woolly hat

Wednesday gave him button eyes

Thursday a carrot nose

Friday gave him sticks for arms

And Saturday more clothes

But Sunday gave bad weather

The sky began to cry

Sunday took our Snowman

We never said goodbye.

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© Debra Bertulis (Published in Poems about the Seasons, chosen by Brian Moses) 2015, Wayland

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter