Posted in World Poetry Day

World Poetry Day!

It’s World Poetry Day! What a fabulous thing as the day turns round the world to know that thousands and thousands of people will be Tweeting, blogging, reading, writing and trying poetic words on their palate!

Poetry has been said to be like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. But most people turn to poetry on occasions of emotional highs and lows, to express those thoughts with words that are hard to find at those times.

Here’s my fun marmite poem to celebrate the fact that we are all different, but all have a place, on World Poetry Day, and any other day.

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My Mite

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I like my mite,

my mite’s my mate,

it gets my vote

and not my hate,

I like my mite,

but others won’t,

you either like it

or you don’t.

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© Liz Brownlee

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Mites help decompose leaf litter in the woods. Without decomposers to break down all the dead material such as leaves, twigs, animal bodies, and waste materials that animals produce (poo!), there would be no soil. Without soil, nothing would grow. We would starve as there would be nothing to grow our food in, there would be no grass-eating creatures such as cattle, there would be no birds or anything that lives in trees because there would be nothing for trees to live in and no trees, no insects, no flowers… in fact the whole web of life would break down. Decomposers are creatures like bacteria, mites, earwigs, beetles, slugs, wasps, flies, and very importantly, worms.

 

Image by Heidi Elliot on Flikr by CC License.

Posted in International Womens Day

A Poem from Jan Dean on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Jan Dean’s latests books are The Penguin in Lost Property, illustrated by Nathan Reed (written with Roger Stevens) and Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, illustrated by Steph Says Hello, and written with Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan.

This is one of her wonderful poems from Reaching the Stars.

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Advice to Rapunzel

 

Sort yourself out.

Don’t hang around

for someone else to rescue you.

 

Give yourself a trim.

Pick up the scissors,

it’s not rocket science.

 

Make a rope ladder.

Twist one. Plait one. Improvise.

Use your head for more than growing hair.

 

Escape.

Secure the ladder

Shimmy down and leg it.

 

Don’t look back.

Get clean away

Vamoose.  Stay loose.

 

And learn your lesson.

Staying put beneath a tyrant’s thumb

is dumb.

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© Jan Dean

 

Reaching the stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, can be bought here.

Posted in Lego Poem

Teachers, Young Poets; Lego Poem Challenge

Here is my quick spider poem and Lego spider. Send me a Lego animal photo and I might write your animal a poem! If you send me a Lego animal poem you might see it here, too!

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Spidery Ways

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I’m a red-footed spider

with spidery fangs,

spider means spinner –

from spun silk I hang.

 

Related to scorpions

I’ve a poisonous bite,

but it’s not true I crawl

into mouths in the night.

 

Only females spin webs

and lay spiderling eggs,

and I taste and I hear

with the hairs on my legs.

 

I know that my scuttle

is scary to some

but I run in small bursts

for I’ve only one lung.

 

I have multiple eyes

but don’t have good sight

my eyes just spot motion

or darkness and light,

 

but my cousins, the hunters,

when hunting a snack

can see frontwards and sideways

and right round their back.

 

Despite being poisonous

I’m harmless, it’s true

for my jaws are too tiny

to take bites of you!

.

© Liz Brownlee

Posted in Poetry Awards

Apes to Zebras, Winner of the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards 2018 for Poetry

Award winning children's poetry
Apes to Zebras, by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, Award Winner!

There aren’t many awards for children’s to poetry so it’s pretty special to win one of them!

I’m thrilled to announce, with Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, that we have won this year’s North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award for Poetry, which is voted on by teachers from North Somerset and all over the UK.

A huge thank you to all the teachers who took the trouble to read the entire shortlist and vote on them. What a special thing. We are overjoyed that our book is helpful and being used in schools.

Over the next few days I will be sharing videos of some of the poems from the book read by the authors.

Book Award

 

 

I Bet I Can Make You Laugh, Poems by Joshua Seigal and Friends

 

There’s something in this anthology collected by Joshua Seigal to tickle all funnybones – young or old!

Joshua Seigal is an award-winning poet, performer and educator who uses poetry to develop literacy skills and inspire confidence and creativity in communication

My favourite poem was my dog, Lola’s, favourite poem. Joshua once wrote a great poem for Lola. She is one of his fans.

 

DogMatic

 

I’ve got a new DogMatic

she’s my automatic pet.

Of all the beasts I’ve ever bought

she is the best one yet.

She likes to play outside with me

but sometimes she gets wet,

and then she blows her circuitry

and ends up at the vet.

 

I’ve got a new DogMatic,

she’s my high-perfomance mate.

Of all the cronies I could own

it’s her I really rate.

I simply click a button

and she starts to calculate

the distance to the park, in metres,

from our garden gate.

 

I’ve got a new DogMatic –

she’s my electronic chum.

She’s smarter than my sister,

more efficient than my mum.

She has a byte at dinner time

and then, when she is done,

a tiny little microchip

comes plopping out her bum…

 

© Joshua Seigal

You can buy I Bet I Can Make you Laugh, humorously illustrated by Tim Wesson, here.

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2018

E is for American Children’s Poet David Elliott, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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David Elliott

David Elliott is an award-winning author of many picture books and novels for young people, the poetry series On the Farm, In the Wild, and In the Sea, illustrated by Holly Meade, On the Wing illustrated by Becca Stadtlander; and the author of the critically acclaimed BULL, a YA novel in verse retelling the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. His most recent poetry picture book In the Past, illustrated by Matthew Trueman, chronicles life on earth from the Cambrian to the present geologic era, the Quaternary. The delightful In the Past can be bought here. David’s website is here.

This is one of his gorgeous animal poems, which will be in a forthcoming book called IN THE WOODS from Candlewick Press; illustrated by Rob Dunlavey.

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The OPPOSSUM

 

Your rattish snout, your naked tail

dragging on the woodland trail:

you’re not a classic beauty.

 

You bump along the woodland track

your babies clinging to your back:

 

there’s beauty, too, in duty.

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© David Elliott

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment! Thank you!

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

H is for American Children’s Poet, Lee Bennet Hopkins #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Lee Bennett Hopkins

Lee Bennett Hopkins has written and edited numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, as well as professional texts and curriculum materials. He has taught elementary school and served as a consultant to school systems throughout the US.  In 1989 he received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “outstanding contributions to the field of children’s literature” in recognition of his work; and 2009 brought him the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Poetry for Children, recognising his aggregate body of work. In 2010 he received the Florida Libraries’ Lifetime Achievement Award. His books include the award winning Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life (Boyds Mills Press), Alphathoughts: Alphabet PoemsCity I Love (Abrams, 2009), and Full Moon and Star (Abrams, 2011), both illustrated by jazz musician Marcellus Hall. He has an unflagging belief that poetry is a necessity for children, at home and in the classroom, and is one of the United States’ most sought-after speakers on the subject of children’s literature.

To encourage the recognition of poetry, he has established two major awards: the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, presented annually by Penn State University for a single volume of poetry, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Reading Association Promising Poet Award, presented every three years by IRA. How fabulous is that? Here is one of his lovely poems:

 

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Storyteller

(For Augusta Baker)

 

As she speaks

words

leap from pages —

.

there are

friends like

frog and toad —

.

I walk

down a

yellow brick road.

.

Worlds of paper

disappear —

.

only

Miss Augusta

and I

are here

in a room

filled with magic

story

rhyme.

.

and as her voice

reaches

the highest

rafter —

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I believe in

 

once-upon-a-time

.

I believe in

.

Happily ever after.

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© Lee Bennett Hopkins (From Jumping Off Library Shelves, Wordsong, celebrating the magic of libraries, illustrated by Jane Manning)

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment! Thank you!

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

H is for Children’s Poet Hannah Hodgson, #AtoZChallenge ZtoA

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Hannah Hodgson

Hannah has won numerous young poets network challenges organised by the poetry society; and she goes in to schools to run poetry workshops. Her first pamphlet Dear Body has been published by Wayleave Press, which details what life is like as a young person with a disability. Hannah writes about her disability as she thinks it is important children and young people understand the challenges that differently able people face. Her blog is here.

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Here is one of Hannah’s poems – this was a winner in the August Challenge #2 on Young Poets Network (YPN) 19-25 age group category in 2016.

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The lift, a green room for the wheelchair user

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The doors are scissor blades –
sever us, give us space.

We exhale in sighs,
hot frustrated hand driers.

Our eyes flash colour, marbles
rolling around our sockets.

These flickering lids speak louder than we could.

We are sinking, quicksand drawing
us through floors as we complain

about the people
bumbling down the stairs.

The doors chime. We reapply smiles
like lipstick.

The curtains are open,
we are actors, polite once again.

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© Hannah Hodgson

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment! Thank you!

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

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

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

M is for Children’s Poet and Educator Trevor Millum, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Trevor Millum

Trevor is a writer and performer of short stories and poems for children and has published lots of other stuff too. His poems are widely published and anthologised. He is also an experienced workshop leader and is well known for his work on creativity and developing the use of ICT in English.  His website is here.
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Here’s ‘Sunday in the Yarm Fard’ from his book,  A Stegosaurus is for Life and other Animal Poems, illustrated by Elaine Hill.
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Spring in the Yarm Fard

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The mat keowed

The mow cooed

The bog darked

The kigeon pooed

 

The squicken chalked

The surds bang

The kwuk dacked

The burch rells chang

 

And then, after all the dacking and the changing

The chalking and the banging

The darking and the pooing

The keowing and the kooing

There was a mewtiful beaumont

Of queace and pie-ate.

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© Trevor Millum

Click on the title of the post if you are on the home page to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

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

N is for American Children’s Poet Kim Norman, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Kim Norman

Kim Norman is the author of twenty children’s books, many in verse, published by Sterling, Scholastic, Penguin/Random House, and forthcoming from FSG and Candlewick. Kim calls herself a “Bedtime reading evangelist.” She has been invited to more than 250 schools around the US and has Skyped with students as far away as Hong Kong and South Korea. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two pug mixes, in a tiny house shaded by giant pecan trees. One of Kim’s poems is in Kenn Nesbitt’s 2016 anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime illustrated by Christoph Niemann. Her website is here.

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Here is one of Kim’s Poems:

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Nose to Knows

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As I gaze at my goldfish’s gulping gills,
in awe of his alien fins and frills,
he probably peers at my ears and nose,
pondering, “What ‘n the heck are those?”

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© Kim Norman

Click on the title of the post to be taken to the post’s page where you will be able to comment. Thank you!

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