Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Category: Poetry

Creating Poetry during Lockdown

In this global pandemic we have been thinking of just how to reach out to others across the world.  Poetry is a way of finding and releasing feelings.  

And do you know what, children are so good at it! 

Cheryl is a profoundly interesting, engaging and empathetic poet – with children or adults…we think so!

Cheryl Moskowitz is a poet, narrator and writer who works with us at Books Go Walkabout . Since March 2020, when school closures were announced in the UK, Cheryl has been talking to children, their parents and staff at schools. What is life like in this Covid19 world?

Shrewsbury School, Hong Kong is an International School and have experienced huge amount of lock-down time at school. Beth McNeilly, the school librarian talked about a plan with Books Go Walkabout to get children writing. A poem from Wilfred is shown on the page in the link above, what a star!

A great school, committed to poetry and creativity…

At Books Go Walkabout we put the two together and Cheryl and Beth worked on a poetry plan for children in Years 1 and 2. We Zoomed across the world and heard the most amazing poems, and it all started with a poem of Cheryl’s that begins…

Just supposing…

you woke up tomorrow

and there weren’t all these rules

like: YOU HAVE TO STAY HOME!

and: YOU CAN’T GO TO SCHOOL!

The children wrote and they wrote, and they came up with the most amazing collections of thoughts, poems and words( vocabulary was awesome!)

Parents and teachers and librarians were part of the video, the writing and the Zoom session. It was a BRILLIANT session. Releasing fears and worries, turning them into creative and imaginative pieces of written work.

Great job Shrewsbury and Cheryl!! At Books Go Walkabout we loved it! You can read more on Books Go Walkabout.

Sue Martin


Wild in the Streets- 20 Poems of City Animals

This is a captivating book full of poems about different animals living in cities across the world. A book of adaptation; bats, boars, coyotes, huntsman spiders, honeybees and reticulated pythons. Poems which reflect the nature of the animal and its new habitat and at the back is a glossary with  different types of poems like cinquains to sonnets, and acrostics to reversos.

‘It may be hard to believe that wildlife can survive among the densely packed houses, huge skyscrapers, tarmac, pavements and sewers. Some animals were there before humans encroached on their territory and others have been introduced on purpose, like the Honeybees in Vancouver.’ Marilyn Singer

Reticulated pythons were in Singapore before the city existed and survive in the sewers and waterway, living on rats, cats and birds. Monarch butterflies have long migrations but at the end of the summer gather in Pacific Grove,California before travelling north again in the Spring.

Marilyn Singer is the author and Gordy Wright is the illustrator and they have combined their talents to produce this beautiful book published by Words and Pictures.

An exciting and inspiring way to think about animals in our cities.

Sue Martin

Poetry – Books of poems February 2020

Poetry is one of the best ways to have fun with words, explore feelings and use rhyme and patterns together.

This month, February 2020, we have three new books of poems which we love and are great to open the book anywhere and delve straight in!

‘There’s a Crocodile in the House’, from Paul Cookson, has an enormously wide collection of poems with fun, danger, surprise and wonder. Some poems you need to SHOUT!! And some you need to whisper…

Watch out for the lurking crocodile on the armchair, whatever you don’t sit down!! Great illustrations from Liz Million.

‘The Magic of Mums’ is written by Justin Coe and illustrated by Steve Wells. Different Mums in all guises are celebrated here, sometimes comic, sometimes witty or tender and all will find a child with a Mum ‘just like that’!

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers for both There’s a Crocodile in the House’ and The Magic of Mums’. As publishers, making a difference in the landscape of good children’s’ books,  these books are a wonderful addition to their growing poetry genre.

Poems Aloud is our third poetry book this month. This is an anthology of poems from Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett. This book shouts out to you from the engaging cover to all the poems inside. There are poems for reading aloud or for being quiet, poems which are good for performance playing and poems which are good for sharing at home time.

Joseph Coelho is an award-winning poet and performer from London with a huge collection of books to his name, along with being BBC’s Teach Poetry presenter (Oct 2018).

 

Daniel Gray-Barnett lives in Tasmania and is an award-winning illustrator, including Grandma Z. His illustrations have been commissioned  by Sydney Opera House, The Boston Globe and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Australia.

Wide Eyed Editions published  and presented this book in their inimitable style making it a work of art itself and a wonderful book to have.

PS My favourite poem is below , because I love bears, shush, it’s a secret!

Sue Martin

 

 

A Child’s Garden of Verses

Get this lovely hardback book here…

A beautifully presented hard back book of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Michael Foreman in this magical new edition from Otter-Barry Books.

The verses were first published in 1885, so reflect quite a different era. In 1985, Michael Foreman created the wonderful water-colour illustrations which bring a soft and ephemeral magic to the poems.

This latest edition published in 2017, from Otter-Barry has a foreword from Alexander McCall Smith, who begins by saying about Stevenson,” He not only knows what children like, but he likes it along with them”

McCall Smith tells of Stevenson’s childhood in a family of lighthouse engineers, but he suffered from ill-health and spent much time in his sickbed. May be that it was here that he dreamed and thought of the world beyond. It was also in the Victorian times, when travel to far away places was possible for those with money to spend.

The poems are a delight and can conjure up images of gentle childhoods, as in The Swing,

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown

Up in the air I go flying again

Up in the air and down.

One of my favourite illustrations is from My Shadow, a poem that will stay with you once read.

My Shadow from Robert Louis Stevenson

This book will make a wonderful present  and will add to any school, library and home collection. I am off to read some of the poems now, by the fireside and ready to dream!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Books Go Walkabout

 

All the Wild Wonders Poems of our Earth

All the wild wonders

Buy this book from BgW here…

An amazing anthology of poems from Wendy Cooling, beautifully illustrated by Piet Grobler. The poems are compiled to do two things; to celebrate the beauty of the world and to notice the dangers.

Wendy Cooling, MBE, is well known in the world of children’s books, in the UK and beyond. She has contributed enormously to supporting the provision of books for young children and is also a celebrated anthologist.

She hopes that at least one of the poems lingers in the readers mind.

Poets are taken from different periods of time, and space, from Christina Rosetti to Benjamin Zephaniah.


Two of my favourites are; The Prayer Tree, Anon, ‘I am the beam that supports your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie... and The Old Windmill by Paul Bright,  Catch the wind, just for an instant,Catch the wind , then let it go…

The illustrations are superb and involved in the words and lines of the poems, cleverly created by Piet Gobler in watercolour washes of subtle colours which  support the poems in thought and feeling.

A recent release from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and an excellent addition for any library, home or school.

You can buy the book now from Books Go Walkabout..

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Books Go Walkabout

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