Posted in #WorldBookDay

World Book Day!

It’s World Book Day today – so in honour of reading, here is my poem about it, from Being Me, my me, Laura Mucha, and Matt Goodfellow, Otter-Barry Books.

In the Heart of a Book

Liz Brownlee

I found myself a story

with a place in me to store it

I found myself a wide, new world

so set off to explore it,

I found a scary monster

plus the way to banish it

I found a pool of sadness

and the strength to manage it,

I found the dragon in my soul

learned the way to tame it

I found a new ambition

a path to take and aim it,

I found a way to rest my head

while my worries all unplug

I found a curl of comfort

where each word was a hug,

I found a web of wonders

things I dream about at night

I found a pair of magic wings

and flew into the light.

Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, May 2021

Posted in Poetry Book Parade, Poetry Review

Review: Nutty Nonsense and Children’s Literature Festivals!

Nutty Nonsense, poems and illustrations by Colin West, published by Poems and Pictures Limited

What do poems of nutty nonsense and children’s literature festivals have in common? They both entertain, amuse and inspire children to read, of course!

Christina Gabbitas is the amazing founder of Children’s Literature Festivals – she says: “We organise children’s literature festivals for children and families from all backgrounds, cultures and abilities in less privileged areas FREE”.

There can be no doubt that listening to or watching a real, live author perform is truly inspirational for children. There is information about the events and fund-raising to enable this important work on this Facebook page: Children’s Literature Festivals

Colin West is an exceptionally talented poet and illustrator, who has entertained children and parents for many years with his absurd wordplay and nonsense. All profits from Colin’s new book are to be donated to this excellent cause.

You will not be disappointed – the book is not only packed to the gills with daft, clever and giggle-provoking poems, it is also chock-a-block full of Colin’s charming and hilarious illustrations.

You can buy it here for £6:99 – Nutty Nonsense by Colin West, it’s out on 02/02/22 on #WorldReadAloudDay.

Here’s a sample I photographed from the book – you can read more about Colin West here.

Posted in Being Me, Poems About Thoughts, Worries and Feelings

What To Do With Worries

All children worry about all manner of things – some children more than others. They may have a store of big and little worries that they carry around, which just gets bigger if not attended to. One day a little worry added to the top may cause them to have what seems to be an out-of-proportion reaction. Talking about worries, writing them down, solving the ones that can be solved and recognising the ones that cannot, and putting them to one side can help. Here’s a little poem about worries, read by Sophia.

Posted in Children's Bookshow

The Children’s Bookshow: The Joy of Poetry

Over the last few weeks the team at The Children’s Bookshow have been thinking a lot about the joy of poetry. One of the Directors, Siân Williams, has been pulling poetry collections down from her shelves and revisiting all of the marvellous poets they have worked with over the years, and some with whom they hope to work in the near future.  Throughout November they are focusing on a different poet every week, giving you an overview of their life and work as well as some videos of them reading and performing their poetry.

They’ve announced three poets of the week – John Agard, Michael Rosen and Grace Nichols –  with Kit Wright and Kwame Alexander to follow.

You can see the posts and more videos here!

Posted in National Poetry Day 2020

It’s National Poetry Day! Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Here is the first of my NPD poems – this one was especially written for NPD 2020 on the theme of Vision.  It’s called Who Knows, and it is about an owl.

You can find this poem and many more on National Poetry Day’s website which also has downloadable educational resources. Print out all you like and stick them in your window or on your wall. My poem is there! And it’s not too late to share their toolkits, posters and lesson plans. To #ShareAPoem, take a picture for Twitter or Insta, tag #NationalPoetryDay.

Have a lovely National Poetry Day!

Posted in Poetry Review

Riding a Lion, by Coral Rumble: Book Review

Published TODAY! Slip between the pages of this book and relax into Coral’s warm, vibrant, exciting, world of poems – it seems a poem about practically everything, in every poetic style, lies within.

I particularly enjoyed her animal poems (of course) but there is much to entertain, fascinate and make you laugh in this book.

Coral is an excellent poet and her exacting word choices explode little bombs of enjoyable recognition.

Here’s a couple I enjoyed – firstly, this lovely fox poem:

And lastly, a humorous one:

Riding a Lion is out TODAY, has lovely illustrations by Emily Ford, is published by, and can be bought at Troika Books, as well as all on Hive and any books shop.

FIVE fizzing stars and a big bang of recommendation!

Posted in Poetry News

National Poetry Day 2020!

The brilliant thing about National Poetry Day is that it does not need to be covid-cancelled. Poetry lends itself wonderfully to showcasing using an array of online opportunities, and the day will go ahead on October 1st.

This year’s theme is vision – my poem on the subject is below, also available on the NPD website.  I’m very proud to be a National Poetry Day ambassador, and you can see all the ambassadors here with their poems for National Poetry Day, too! 

If you have a poetry event planned for any age, you can add it to the National Poetry Day events calendar.

Don’t forget you can book a poet to do a Zoom or Skype or other online event for National Poetry Day – including me!

Long-Eared Owl


Who Knows?


Who knows what the owl sees
with its yellow planet eyes
shuffling moonlight in its feathers
under aubergine night-skies

who knows where the owl sees
hiding in the clambering trees
interrogating movements
from the doorways of the leaves

who knows how the owl sees
as the scrambled ground protects
the taps of tiny heartbeats
where evening dark collects

who knows who the owl’s seen
when its vision paths its flight
passing like an exhaled breath
until lost inside the night


© Liz Brownlee


Posted in Poetry Review

Dear Ugly Sisters, by Laura Mucha: Book Review

I knew I’d love Dear Ugly Sisters as much as I love Laura herself – she’s a BIG bundle of energy, thoughtfulness and fun, and so of course is her book.

Here are just two of the spreads to show her range, first, the title poem:

And a more wistful one:

As a fabulous extra, there is a code to a free accompanying audio book, which is is great bonus!

I predict this book will give laughter, thoughts, questions, comfort – and sow the seeds of a love for poetry in any young person who reads it or has it read to them. A must for every library, home and school.

BIG recommendation, 5 SPARKLY, FIZZING stars for young people aged 7-11.

Dear Ugly Sisters is published by Otter-Barry Books and is beautifully illustrated by Tania Rex.

Posted in Poetry Review

Belonging Street by Mandy Coe, Book Review




In the car park is a map of your town.

Everyone presses their finger

on the red dot that says,

You are here.


And here you are!

Inside your shoes, inside your skin

and beneath your hair,

on freshly cut grass, a double-decker bus,

or in bed, slipping into a dream.


In a map of your day

you are here, bookmarking

this page, passing ginger biscuits,

dodging umbrellas

as you dash through the rain.


You are blowing on a hot chip

and laughing with a friend.

Breathe in the smell of vinegar

and place your finger on this moment.


You are here, you are here!


© Mandy Coe


This is a gentle, relatable book full of humour and the wonder of being alive – to quote another of the poems ‘wrap it around you to keep you warm’.

There are many lovely, finely observed poems in here to share between parents and children, and poems that can be used as models for children’s own writing in school.

5 Stars – highly recommended for young people 5-9!

Belonging Street is published by Otter-Barry Books and is full of playful, detailed illustrations by Mandy Coe herself.

Posted in Children's Poetry Magazine

the caterpillar Magazine

Do you enjoy children’s poetry, do you know children who love beautifully illustrated stories and poems? Perhaps you know someone with children or grandchildren? Do let them know about the caterpillar magazine.

It’s a magazine of poems, stories and beautiful illustrations, by grown-ups for children. Created for young people between the ages of 7 and 11(ish), adults are bound to like it too. It is published four times a year, in March, June, September and December and is the sort of magazine I would have devoured as a young person.

Some children’s reviews:

Jemima, 11: Jemima thinks the caterpillar magazine has made her more interested in poetry. “I would describe it as colourful, funny, interesting, likeable and accessible/understandable to all.”

Carole Bromley asked Matilda (10), Martha (8) and Mabel (5) what they thought of the caterpillar, and all said they find it exciting to get the magazine in the post, and that they like looking at the illustrations. They like to keep it and reread it. When asked which poems they liked best, Matilda said rhyming poems, Martha said haiku and Mabel said sad poems! They all like writing poems.

There is no doubt that children’s ears are waiting and wanting to hear rhythm, music, new words, new ideas, absurdity, language play and knowledge introduced in a humorous way. Their imaginations crave new worlds with pathways to recognise and help them negotiate this one. They need to read to gain tools to be able to write. the caterpillar magazine is there to supply all this and more.

You can read more about it here.

Quicky Poetry Ideas for Teachers: Similes – what colour is your heart?

Here’s a quickie simile poem idea.

The poem is a description of the person writing it, they should describe each part in the most surprising, and positive way they can. They must be as complimentary as possible about themselves. Each colour should be true, the description of the colour can be as vivid as they like.

Line one describes their hair colour, line two describes that colour further with a simile

Line three describes their eye colour, line four describes that colour with a simile.

Line five describes their skin colour, and line six further describes that colour with a simile.

Line 7 describes the colour of their hearts. This can be ANY colour.  Line eight will be a simile again, and can be of anything, but animals work very well.


The colours of me!

My hair is brown

like conkers in the sun

my eyes are brown

as autumn nuts

my skin is paler pink

than summer buds

and my heart

is dappled

like the leopard

that hides in the grasses.


Have fun! This poem can be done with many variations.

Posted in Poetry Art and Craft, Poetry Fun!

Writing a Moon Poem and Hanging it on a 3D Moon!

Today I’m going to guide you to write a poem about the moon – this can be written out onto paper or a disc of card and hung up, or written onto a 3D moon to hang as a mobile!

This is a circular poem – the first line is the same as the last line, and on the mobile it IS the same line. If you write it correctly, it doesn’t matter where you start in the poem, it will still make sense.

Start every line with a capital letter. Do not use rhyme.

You will be writing your poem from what is known as ‘the first person’ perspective. That just means you are writing as if you ARE the moon. You only use words like ‘I’ and ‘My’ and ‘Me’. Your first line (and last line!) is:

Because I am the moon

Your second line starts ‘I am the colour’ – try and think of interesting, unusual, or surprising things that are the same colour as the moon. My second line is:

I am the colour of cobwebs and smoke

Your third line begins ‘My mountains’. This line will be a lie. The mountains will do something that mountains cannot really do. My third line is:

My mountains tell me stories

Your fourth line begins ‘My secrets can be found’. This line is also a lie. Try and think of the most wonderful, unusual, exciting, amazing place the moon’s secrets might be found. My fourth line is:

My secrets can be found in silver coins

Your fifth line starts ‘I wish’. What ambition might the moon have? Think about what might be exciting to you if you were the moon.

I wish I was a shooting star

Your sixth line begins ‘I’m sad’ – the moon might be lonely all on its own in space. It has no air, no water, no plants or animals. Because there is no air, there is no sound, because sound waves use air to travel though. Think about being the moon, and decide what you would miss the most. This is my sixth line:

I’m sad I cannot hear Earth’s songs

Your seventh line starts ‘I dream’. What would the moon dream about? Perhaps another of those things she does not possess? Maybe there is something she would like to do, or try, or someone/something she would like to meet? My seventh line is:

I dream of being kissed with clouds

Your eighth line begins with ‘My seas of dust hide’. What extraordinary thing might the moon’s dust hide? Creatures? Jewels? Words? Magic? Tunnels to another place? My eighth line is:

My seas of dust hide night time lullabies

The last line after this is ‘Because I am the moon’ – the same as the first line. BUT unless you are writing this poem out on a piece of paper, you will not write this onto your 3D shape – because it shares a place with the first line. You will see what I mean when you make your shape!

Here is my poem written out:

Because I am the moon

I am the colour of cobwebs and smoke

My mountains tell me stories

My secrets can be found in silver coins

I wish I was a shooting star

I’m sad I cannot hear your songs

I dream of being kissed with clouds

My seas of dust hide night time lullabies

Because I am the moon


Here is how to write your poem onto a moon!

First you need four pieces of A4 paper. Fold them all in half. Then, either use a pair of compasses to draw a circle or find a saucer or something round that is just smaller than the width of the folded paper to draw round.

Then cut the circle through the 4 layers. Or, if you are unsure of doing it this way, draw your circle onto each folded piece of paper and cut each folded piece out separately. You will end up with 8 paper circles. Fold them in half and open them up again.

Write one line of your poem on each of the circles. Remember, you only need one ‘Because I am the moon’.

If you want to illustrate your poem or colour in the circles, it is best done now – it becomes harder later! Then stack the circles with your poem in order, first line at the top-  ‘Because I am the moon’.

Then take the top circle and fold it in half, so the right side folds onto the left side.

Glue this half.

Take the second circle with the second line of your poem on and stick the left hand side of this circle onto the other glued half circle. Make sure the fold matches the fold in the other circle. Be as accurate as you can.

Then fold this second circle in half and glue the side facing you.

And add the next circle on top – again, making sure the folds are all lined up.

Do this with all of the circles, until you have none left. Then turn the circles over so you have half of the first circle on your right and half the last circle on your left.

Take a long piece of hanging string, embroidery thread or wool and stick it in the crack in the middle of the half circles. Use sticky tape to keep it in place.

Then glue the left-hand circle side and stick it to the right-hand half circle. The shape is now 3D and will open up into your 3D moon poem.

Can you see that now the first and last line of your poem is ‘Because I am the Moon’? In fact, because of the way it is written, any line can be the first line, so it doesn’t matter if the moon is not facing the right way when you begin to read it. It still makes sense. You are ready to hang up your moon poem!