Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

H is for Children’s Poet and Illustrator Sue Hardy-Dawson, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Sue Hardy-Dawson

Sue Hardy-Dawson is a Yorkshire born poet, artist, and illustrator, and has been widely published in children’s poetry anthologies. She had worked with children for over twenty years. She enjoys visiting schools and has provided workshops for the Prince of Wales Foundation for Children and the Arts. Being dyslexic she takes a special interest in encouraging reluctant readers and writers. Her first solo collection, of illustrated poems, Where Zebras Go (Otter-Barry Books) was long listed for the North Somerset Teachers’ 2017 Book Award. She has a new collection of shape poems, Apes to Zebras (Bloomsbury) with Roger Stevens and Liz Brownlee. Her second solo collection If I Were Other than Myself (Troika) is due out in spring 2019. 

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Here is one of her wonderful poems with its illustration, also by Sue:

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where zebras go

 

where the amber river slows

where the alligator wallows

where the cruel acacia grows

where the hippo haunts the shallows

 

Where the sleeping lions doze

where antelope meekly swallows

where the sky and land sit close

where the trees are dark as gallows

 

Where the hot wind ebbs and flows

where the grass is coarse and fallow

where the plains grow dry as bones

where the earth is scorched and yellow

 

Where the desert soil corrodes

where the trees are parched and sallow

where vultures stoop in funeral clothes

where the clouds are looming  shadows

 

Where the dust creeps down the road

where the air is still and hollow

where mountains fall and woodlands close

where the mud is thick as tallow

 

where the elephants leave their bones

where gazelle and bison follow

where the great Sirocco blows

where the rains go, zebra goes

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© Sue Hardy-Dawson (From Where Zebras Go, Otter-Barry Books)

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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

I is for Children’s Poet Inky (Peter Bicot), #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Photo Credit: Spider-Dog

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Inky and Spider (Peter Bicot)

Peter Bicot, known as Inky, spent his childhood in the south of France and moved to London when he was eight. He has had poems published in small press magazines and has been working with schools in south London. He has become famous for his poetry performances which involve his dog Spider who barks in time to the chorus of Peter’s poems! Peter’s website is here.

If you want to book Inky, his email is peterbicot1 @mail.com

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Here is one of Peter’s poems (without a chorus!):

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Fly

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The fly’s mosaic eye

is a red lens;

a loud speaker,

with nothing to say.

An anonymous stare

glares back.

Its body armour

gleams oily green.

Hairs bristle

as the domestic alien

waits – spindle legs

planted from a sci-fi film

and brittle wings flick,

glossed as glass,

flexed for take off.

Fly off the wall,

out of the ointment,

fly-by-night

under the radar,

what wouldn’t you harm?

A futuristic chin

thistles needles.

The air stills

as it tickles

your hand.

Greedy fossicker,

carrier of parasitic disease

flies with ease,

teases with a fickle tickle,

tastes with soft feet,

greets food with vomit,

then drinks liquid filth;

debris-dealer,

garbage-czar,

exoskeletal-superstar.

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© Peter Bicot

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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

Photo by Spider-Dog.

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

I is for Norwegian Children’s Poet Häppahl Idrïg, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Photo Credit: *Saipal
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Häppahl Idrïg 
Häppahl Idrïg is a Norwegian poet, well-known for using landscape and weather to describe the human condition. He is famous for his performances in schools across Scandinavia. I haven’t included his website as it is entirely in Norwegian, it was quite difficult finding a translated example of his work!
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Here is one of his succinct poems:
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WEATHERED
Ice, solid with possibilities,
Weathered by the biting tongue
Of scolding parents;
Shaping their future,
Reducing the block
To shards.
Translated by A.S. Rudin
© Häppahl Idrïg
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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

Photo credit *Saipal 

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

I is for Children’s Poet, Will P. Ideal, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

Will P. Ideal (PhD)

Will P. Ideal (PhD)

Even though it was an honorary award Will is proud to use his doctorate to help promote that wonderful thing that is poetry. He is currently enjoying a residence in the UK, and particularly loves writing humorous, to the point poems that he hopes will entertain children and adults alike.

Will is a very private person and usually has no internet presence at all, so I am thrilled he has allowed me to post this. He works by word of mouth alone.

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Here is one of his poems:

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A Poem of few Words

 

Some poems are chatty

Some poems are quiet

Some banquet on words

This one’s on a diet.

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© Will P. Ideal (PhD)

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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

J is for Children’s Poet Mike Jenkins, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins is a poet, fiction-writer and blogger for adults and young people who lives in Merthyr Tudful, s. Wales. He’s a retired teacher of English who occasionally conducts creative writing workshops for children and adults. His book of stories and poems in Merthyr dialect ‘Barkin!’ was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year in 2012. His poetry collection for children is Poems for Underage Thinkers illustrated by Catrin Meirion (Pont). Mike’s website is here and Twitter here.

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Here is a poem from the above collection:

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My Gran

 

My Gran feeds the cat

on bits of cheese,

on bits of chocolate biscuit

crumbled up ;

the cat isn’t very pleased.

She calls her ‘Pussy Puss’ –

sometimes she calls the cushion

by the same name.

 

My Gran burns kettles,

burns meals-on-wheels,

has been known to burn

a hole in her dress ;

accuses the Home Help

of stealing her handkerchiefs.

Finds hankies and washes them

dirtier than they were before.

 

My Gran falls through the floor

every morning, needs cups of tea

to bring her round to insanity ;

needs glasses of sherry

to help her forget

that she can’t remember.

Phones the butcher

to phone the doctor.

 

Lays tea at five

and supper at nine,

asks her dead husband

the time of year,

the day of time.

Blocks her bedrrom door

with a bulky bureau

which screams every night

like a ghost.

My Gran likes only one

piece of toast

for tea and breakfast.

 

My Gran plays patience

and cheats ,

drinks only one glass

of sherry a day,

yet two bottles in half a week.

Threatens to have me turned out,

to call the police.

 

She’s mad I think,

or the clocks have stopped.

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© Mike Jenkins (from his poetry collection for children, Poems for Underage Thinkers, Pont.)

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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 Poetry Competition

AtoZ Poetry Competition! #AtoZChallenge

Hidden in the A-Z of Best 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.

At the end of the A-Z 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

K is for Children’s Poet Jackie Kay #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. Jackie writes for adults as well as children; her children’s titles include Strawgirl (Macmillan) and Red Cherry Red (Bloomsbury), available here, which won the CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award).  Alongside books, Jackie has written extensively for stage and television; her play BRINK was performed at the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester.  She is also Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.  She made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 and was awarded an MBE in 2006.  More recently, in March 2016, Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland. You can read more about Jackie here.

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This is her moving poem:

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My Face is a Map

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I was born with a map of Australia on my face;
it was beautiful, my mother told me –
there was nobody like me in the whole wide world
who could trace the edges of down under
on the raised and grafted song line of her face.

I was connected to the upside-down people,
to those who loved the bush and the kangaroo.
I could never smile or frown or weep
in case my special map fell off my face.
My face was pulled tight, so that nobody got lost.

I held my head steady and I held my head high.
When people gaped and gawped and gawked
I thought they were trying to find Alice Springs,
to work out where they wanted to go, where they’d been.
And when somebody stared for a very long time

I would simply ask if they’d been down under:
the hardest human heart melts when it sees a koala bear.
My words were slower than other children’s
because my map was stitched to my mouth:
every time I managed a whole sentence

I imagined a small boat floating out of Sydney harbour.
Yesterday there was talk of peeling my map off,
changing my face, so that it looks like others;
my mother said I should have a long think,
and that maybe life would be easier…

I am thinking now, staring hard into the mirror.
I trace the hard edges of the world in my face.
I know the hard stares of some people.
Without my map, will I be the same person?
Will I know where I am, where I have been?

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© Jackie Kay (From Red Cherry Red, Bloomsbury, winner of the 2008 CLiPPA award)

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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

K is for Children’s Poet Mike Kavanagh, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Mike Kavanagh

Michael Kavanagh was born in Toronto in 1971 and studied at Queen’s University in Canada, and University of Glasgow. He lives near Oxford, with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in anthologies such as Read Me At School (Macmillan), and Michael Rosen’s A-Z, The Best Poetry from Agard to Zephaniah (Puffin). He founded and edited a children’s poetry magazine called The Scrumbler which has since stopped publishing.

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The Scrumbler was a wonderful magazine – I’m hoping for a revival! Here is one of Mike’s poems:

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Potions

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For warm summer weather
mix Dandelion and Heather.

For everlasting sweets
mix Wisteria and beets.

For exploring a forest path
mix bark and rotten leaf.

For days off school, playing in snow
mix Hawthorn and Sloe.

For winter days to pass
mix Night Shade and frosted grass.

To disappear without a trace
mix Old Man’s Beard and Mace.

To get your own room
mix Rose and Lemon Balm.

For late nights, TV, staying up
mix Daffodil and Buttercup.

If you plan to run away
mix sedge and hay.

If you’re ready to come back home
mix Snowdrop and Teasel comb.

To sit and be your very own age
mix Forget-me-nots and Sage.

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© Mike Kavanagh

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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

K is for Children’s Author and Poet Alan Katz, #AtoZ Challenge, #ZtoA

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Alan Katz

Alan Katz is a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and other talk shows, animated series including PBS’s new Pinkalicious, Nickelodeon series and specials, and game shows. He has also created hundreds of comic books, trading card sets, web series, and other special projects for kids. He has written more than 35 books for young readers, including his newest picture book, an ode to dads and kids illustrated by Chris Robertson, called If I Didn’t Have You. His poetry collections include OOPS! and        Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking (both Margaret K. McElderry Books, illustrated by Edward Koren). His website is here.

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Here is one of Alan’s funny poems from OOPS!

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Contraction Dissatisfaction

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It wasn’t isn’t.

It isn’t wasn’t.

It can’t be shouldn’t.

It shouldn’t be doesn’t.

It mustn’t be wouldn’t.

It wouldn’t be mustn’t.

It mayn’t be mightn’t.

It mightn’t be mayn’t.

I’m skipping this homework.

To go out and playn’t.

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© Alan Katz

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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

L is for American Children’s poet B. J. Lee, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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B. J. Lee

B. J. Lee lives in Florida. Her poems appear in anthologies, including Construction People (ed. Lee Bennett Hopkins), The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and The Poetry of US (ed. J. Patrick Lewis), One Minute Till Bedtime, illustrated by Christoph Niemann (ed. Kenn Nesbitt), available here in the US and here in the UK, and many others. Her debut picture book is coming soon.Here are B. J.’s  Website and Poetry blog

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This is her lovely poem and photo illustration, first published by Renée LaTulippe on her website, No Water River.

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© B. J. Lee

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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

L is for American Children’s Poet J. Patrick Lewis, #AtoZ Challenge #ZtoA

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J. Patrick Lewis 

After a wild and rugged youth as a bronco rider, lobster fisherman, opera singer, confidential police informant,  Economics professor, and Russian spy—he has been to Moscow thirteen times (shhh!)—J. Patrick Lewis is now  in the Federal Witness Protection Program in XXXX, Ohio, USA with XXXX, his wife, and two vicious K-9 guard  toy poodles. Please do not ask to see his secret tattoos. His alter ego, J. Patrick Lewis poet, has published 110 children’s picture and poetry books to date with Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt,  Little, Brown, National Geographic, Creative Editions, Chronicle, Scholastic, and others. The Poetry Foundation named him the third U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013). Recent books include the series Let’s Celebrate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween,  and Everything is a Poem: The Best of J. Patrick Lewis. His website is  here.

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Here is one of his lovely poems;

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How the Yellow Jacket

Lost her Shyness

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The King of England

Once was stung

Upon his royal bottom,

And you could hear

A yellow jacket

Yell, “Oh, boy, I got ‘im!”

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And that is how

The yellow jacket

Finally lost her shyness,

And how the English

Came to call the King

“His Royal Highness!”

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© J. Patrick Lewis

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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

L is for American Children’s Poet Renée LaTulippe, #AtoZChallenge, #ZtoA

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Renée LaTulippe

Renée M. LaTulippe’s poems have been widely published in anthologies for children, including School People, illustrated by Ellen Shi, One Minute Till Bedtime, illustrated by Christoph Niemann, and National Geographic’s forthcoming The Poetry of US . She has also co-authored nine early readers. Renée earned her BFA in acting/directing from Marymount Manhattan College and her MA in English Education from New York University. She teaches The Lyrical Language Lab, an online course for children’s writers. She lives by the sea in Italy. Renée’s brilliant website is here. Her excellent poetry blog with many resources is here.

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Here is one of her poems, a wonderful pantoum:

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HAPPY: pantoum for a perfect day

 

What manifestation of happy is this?

Striding outside where grass greens my feet,

dragonflies dart in snapdragony bliss—

Morning and I promenade down the street.

 

Striding outside, where grass greens my feet,

I greet swooping bluebirds out bluing the sky.

Morning and I promenade down the street:

we’re fluff of a milkweed, as soft as a sigh!

 

I greet swooping bluebirds, out bluing the sky…

“Tick tock!” whisper shadows as Sun pulls them long.

Like fluff of a milkweed, as soft as a sigh,

afternoon falls to the whippoorwill’s song.

 

“Tick tock!” whisper shadows as Sun pulls them long.

Dragonflies dart in snapdragony bliss.

An afternoon falls to the whippoorwill’s song—

what manifestation of happy is this!

 

© Renée M. LaTulippe 2015

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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

L is for Children’s Poet Alistair Lane, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Alistair Lane

Alistair Lane is an emerging poet, writer, and performer, who writes for both children and adults, and an active member of the “DIY Poets” collective. His work can be found online, in local zines, on post-it notes on vending machines, performed at friends’ weddings, written in the sand on beaches, and has even graced the good buses of Guernsey. He blogs occasionally here, and was nominated as “Funniest Blogger” in the 2016 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

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Here is one of his poems:

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The Snail In My Garden

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There’s a snail in my garden

Hiding in its shell

I’m not sure where it’s been

It’s sometimes hard to tell

 

There’s one thing though that troubles me

And causes me some doubt.

The answer to this question:

Is it in or out?

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© Alistair Lane

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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 Poetry Competition

AtoZ Poetry Competition! #AtoZChallenge

Hidden in the A-Z of Best 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.

At the end of the A-Z 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

M is for Children’s Poet Laura Mucha, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Laura Mucha

Laura Mucha worked as a face painter, studied flying trapeze, philosophy and psychology, and swam in Antarctica before becoming a lawyer. Now she spends most of her time playing with words. Her poetry has been published in books, magazines and newspapers around the world, and she’s performed on BBC Radio, at festivals and in schools. In 2016, she won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize. You can read and listen to Laura’s poetry here.

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This is one of Laura’s great poems:

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DEAR UGLY SISTERS 
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Bread has been baked, veggies are chopped,
salt in the pan – kitchen’s been mopped,
skirts have been washed, hoovered the floor,
took out the bins – polished the door,
cleared up the bathroom, cleaned up the sink,
washed all your socks – still really stink,
ironed the laundry, folded the sheets,
serviced the car – here’s the receipt,
dog for a walk, cat to the vet,
married a wonderful prince that I met,
leaving tonight, so good luck with the chores,
I’m dropping my apron and keys by the door.
FROM
CINDERELLA
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.© Laura Mucha
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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