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Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition

opPoetry is back on the agenda!

It certainly was for all those who entered the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition. On Friday 10th December the winning young poets were presented with their book prizes.

There were twelve prize winners and a further eight received commendations. They were all between the ages of 7 and eleven. One of the poems is featured below.


Hearing my dad on the computer.
Hearing the quiet buzz of the heater.
Hearing the cars rushing past.
I know I am home.

Smelling paint as I walk past the wall.
Smelling the food being cooked.
I know I am home.

Touching the peach wall when I walk in.
Touching my toys and start playing with them.
I know I am home.

Setting the food on the table ready to eat.
Seeing the furry stairs in the corridor.
I know I am home.

By Michael Hills, aged 8, from Yateley Manor, Hampshire

All winning entries are on Children’s Poetry bookshelf . The judges of the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition, led by Chair Roger McGough, selected twelve children as winners of the Competition, with a further eight receiving high commendations. The judges awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes to children in two age groups (7-8 and 9-11).


This international Poetry Competition, now in its fifth year, is run by the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, a poetry book club for young people run by the Poetry Book Society. To link with National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October, children aged 7-11 were invited to submit poems on the theme of ‘Home’.

The partnership with the British Council boosted entries to the ‘International Learners’ category for children based outside the UK who are learning English as a foreign or second language. In total, well over 3,000 entries were received from schools and individual children worldwide, nearly a quarter of which were from 31 countries other than the UK.

Roger McGough said:

“’Home’ proved to be a fruitful subject for this year’s crop of young poets and the judges relished those poems in which the child’s imagination was let loose. More than attention to domestic detail, the sounds and smells, the furnishings, the judges relished those poems in which the child’s imagination was let loose. Above all, it was a delight to witness very young writers discovering the power and the joy of language.”

Sue Martin

Dolphin Booksellers, the best in children’s books, always on line

Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition

opA great competition which had over 4000 entries this year from all over the world.
The awards and celebrations were held at The Unicorn Theatre in London on 14th December.
Children and parents mingled with poets and publishers.

Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and chair of the judging panel said,
‘We left our meeting convinced that the true beginnings of poetry are to be found in writing by children.”

This international poetry competition, now in its fourth year, is run by Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, part of Poetry Book Society, in partnership with the British Council.

grpLots of excited faces, as the winners joined judges John Agard, Roger Stevens and Carol Ann Duffy at the presentation. As well as the prizes there will be a commemorative booklet, in which winning and recommended poems will be featured.

It is available from Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, which is a great website as a resource and just good to read as well!

Some of the lines that have stayed with us are;

Men watching
Friends go forever

From A Soldier’s Poem by Louisa, aged 8.


He is the blow of a whistle
That can be heard all over the world

About Barack Obama by Sarah, aged 8.

Children’s writing has a way of finding the truth…..

Dolphin Booksellers – finding out more about books for children.

Crispy Juice


Crispy Juice – Love Music, Love poetry, Love kids.

A new concept bringing rhymes and poetry together in a beautifully presented package. Crispy Juice website has style, quality and is a real delight in the illustrations and the way rhymes and music are put together.

The music is available to listen to on the website and CD’s can be purchased on line. If you are lucky enough to live near Bristol, there may be some markets where you can find a Crispy Juice stall.

When you buy a CD, a donation of £1 is given to Zambuko library.

calpCalico Pie is the first CD produced. There are over 20 rhymes and songs, old favourites and new ones too, set to music by Paul Bradley using a melodica, glockenspiel, guitar and piano.

Its very dreamy and as they say on the CD, ‘Its best served warm with a cosy blanket’.

Just right for winter evenings and anytime that you and the children want to enjoy music and rhymes.
It would be great for nurseries ‘sleepy times’ just after lunch. You know that sort of time when you don’t need to actually sleep, but music and a comfy chair and a good book are just right!

Dolphin Booksellers have information and lists of books for Christmas, plus you can buy them direct through the link to Amazon, so great books at good prices. A winning combination.

Heroes and Heroines

old pHeroes and Heroines is the theme of the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition for for 2009. Time to get your imaginations fired up again after the summer break and get writing.

The Children’s Bookshelf is organising the competition, they’re part of the Poetry Book Society. Even if you don’t want to get involved in the competition, its worth having a look at their website, it has all the details and much more beside.

The competition, now in its fourth year, is open to individuals and schools, and divided into 2 age groups,7- 8 yr olds and 9 – 11 yr olds. There are cash prizes as well as books and CPB memberships. A teacher’s guide will be available from early September.

Entries will be accepted from 10 September until 19th October, so its just right for that first few days back in the classroom! On Thursday 8th October we have National Poetry day, the work cover 2 activities in 1!

Carol Ann Duffy, the new poet laureate will chair the panel, to include, John Agard, Antonia Byatt, Gillian Clarke, Janetta Otter Barry and Roger Stevens. They all have a fantastic achievements within their work and connections to children’s poetry.

gdSupport for the project also comes from Old Possum’s Practical Trust. TS Elliot would undoubtedly enjoy the title of the competition, Heroes and Heroines. I’m just wondering which heroine I would choose?

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