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All reviews tagged with POETRY


 

1066 And Before That

Early history gets an airing in this poetry collection – co-written by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens – which is divided up into five sections, beginning at the Stone Age, ending with the eponymous battle of Hastings, and taking in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome along the way. In fact, there is precious little that…

A first Poetry Book

This bumper anthology from Macmillan contains well over 200 poems from 'the very best poets around', and, with its title, big print and cover festooned with chicks and a bunny rabbit, seems at first glance to be aimed at young children. It's divided up into topics such as 'Food', 'Pets', 'Space' and so on, which…

A is Amazing, Poems About Feelings

A is Amazing! Poems about Feelings contains 33 poems organized alphabetically by theme. Some of the themes are obvious, like the entry for ‘F’, which is ‘Friendly’ and contains the poem ‘Oath of Friendship’ by an anonymous Chinese poet; other themes are more obscure, for example the entry for ‘P’, ‘Puddle-wonderful’, which is ee cummings' sinister…

A Little Aloud for Children

This volume is an anthology of poems, stories and extracts for children of unspecified age. Everything about the volume is well-intentioned and all royalties are going to the Reader Organisation. There are about seventy pieces in all, arranged under approximately thirty headings designed to attract young readers, from ‘Sailing Away’ in the beginning to ‘Angels’…

A Rainbow in My Pocket

Poetry from the perspective of a child is not easily written by adults, but in tender tones Ali Seidabadi captures the world in a way which will reflect and inspire the minds of young readers. Whether it is the culturally enriching experience of reading Persian poetry, or the accessibility lent to it by Azita Rassi’s…

All the Wild Wonders: Poems of our Earth

This compilation of more than thirty poems focuses on showing us some of the wonder and fragility of our planet. There are lyrical poems that celebrate the wonder of the Earth; there are poems that display anger at humankind’s mismanagement of the Earth’s resources; there are poems told from different points of view; there are…

Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears

A prolific writer and illustrator of children’s books, Hilda Offen won the Smarties Prize in 1992 and was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize in 2009. Blue Balloons and Rabbit Ears is her first poetry collection. There is a comforting familiarity to Offen’s illustrations, as she has brought to life dozens of well-known…

Captain Jack and the Pirates

There can be little doubt that the most widely popular contemporary poetry is children’s poetry. The most popular examples of this poetry are hidden in plain sight as poetic works; in the form of richly illustrated picturebooks . The likes of The Gruffalo and the rest of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s collaborations must be…

Clotty Malotty and All Her Friends

This collection of old and new rhymes is the result of a series of workshops conducted over a six-week period. It was compiled, illustrated, edited and designed by children from the Tuesday Reading Club in St Joseph’s Girls’ National School in Finglas West, who were supported by personnel from Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership and Barnardos/TESO…

Completely Crazy Poems

John Foster has always had impeccable taste in poetry. In these two little volumes of crazy and scary poems, we not only get the benefit of an imaginative selection but we also have the added bonus of some of his own creations being included. Here we find inspired groupings of poems in intriguing categories such…

Daid Dearmadach

Daid Dearmadach is a collection of twelve poems in Irish which deal with various scenarios, such as dancing class in school, the arrival of a new baby into a family, and the panic caused by a bat flying into a bedroom. The world these poems describe is one of fun and excitement, and this is…

Does your Face Fit? (Poems about fitting in and standing out)

Nasen, which benefits from sales of this book, is the leading UK professional organisation dealing with special educational needs, and the nasen Inclusive Poetry Competition was established to allow young people to express their feelings on inclusion. Several of the competition winners feature in this collection, compiled by Roger Stevens – a poet, writer, musician…

Einstein: The Girl Who Hated Maths

The continued pairing of John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura, following Points of View with Professor Peekaboo, works brilliantly in this collection of forty poems with a mathematical theme. Through the story of a little girl who hated maths, the authors introduce the very young reader to basic mathematical concepts and some of the world’s greatest…

Even My Ears are Smiling

Weighing in at 121 pages and 86 poems, this new book from Rosen is not so much a collection as a poetry bonanza. Quentin Blake has illustrated previous collections, including the similarly titled Bananas In My Ears. On this occasion Babette Cole does the honours…in a style reminiscent of Quentin Blake. In fact, isn’t that…

Falling Out of the Sky : Poems About Myths and Monsters

This bespoke anthology boasts twenty-eight poems, drawing on various traditions, beginning, ending, and liberally peppered throughout with those from the ever-charismatic world of Greek mythology. But we also get subjects from old English, Norse, Aztec, Arthurian and Balinese sources, together with a smattering of saints.   Youngsters are  introduced here to a colourful, capricious and…

Firefly July – A Year of Very Short Poems

Bright blocks of colour on the patchwork-style cover announce this as a warm blanket of a book, and the blanket is by turns one of stars, of flowers and of cloth. Sweet’s watercolour, gouche and mixed media illustrations draw on nature, with birds, insects and trees reinforcing the mostly outdoor feel of the book. The…

Ghostly Riders

Phil Carradice’s poems are very imaginative, and often gripping and stark. They will especially appeal to boys. The ones in this collection reflect the more scary and grim aspects of life, spoken by boys or young men caught up in threatening situations. Several of the voices are those of people from the past: a Roman…

Hey Little Bug: Poems for Little Creatures

This collection of poems, with its large print and cutsiness, is clearly aimed at young children. The eponymous shape poem on the bright yellow back cover proclaims “even the ugliest bug needs a hug”. If this doesn’t put you off then proceed to page one! The book begins as a suite of poems on insects,…

Message from the Moon and other poems

Hilda Offen’s poems are as enjoyable as her illustrations, any reader would be hard pushed to say which they prefer. Wonderful stories are created through the clever coupling of powerful phrasing and intelligent illustrations. The minimalist and simple style of the illustrations allow the reader to find meaning easily within the clever cartoons. Offen uses…

Psychosilly

Psychosilly is silly in places with a few good verses but many awkward ones where rhyme and metre collapse and Murphy becomes too zany. He gets cloudy as to meaning and when total meaning is not needed the word play is only fairly good fun: A pair of trousers for a treeA worm with its…

Splat and Other Great Poems

The publicity material which accompanies this new release hails the author as ‘Ireland’s favourite children’s poet’. He might just as well be called ‘Ireland’s only children’s poet’, or at least the only one whose titles issue forth regularly from a big publisher. For this reason alone Gabriel Fitzmaurice qualifies as a minor legend. He is…

The King’s Pyjamas

It is always good to see an anthology of poetry making it into print. And this is a very good collection. The 40 poets (actually 39 plus the always present ‘anon’) represented here showcase their work in a delightfully produced volume which should find its way into every teacher’s class library. The poems are varied…

Two Peculiar Pelicans: A Caribbean Story Poem

Two pelicans arrive to find the Sea Gate closed and the dolphin tells them they are late. The pelicans say that they have been building their nest ‘far beyond the Sea’s rim’. The pelicans enjoy living on the land but the dolphin cannot understand how they can bear not to hear ‘the music of the…

Watcher of the Skies: Poems About Space and Aliens

This anthology is very ambitious. Its central idea is very laudable, to link poetry about the universe with serious and reliable scientific information and then to extend this to ideas about writing poetry and other activities for children themselves. It contains over thirty poems by twenty-seven different poets. The poems’ themes are hugely varied, from…

Weight of Water

It is unusual and unexpected to be presented with a young adult book written in verse – and even more unusual and unexpected not to 
be disappointed by it. Although this novel is presented as a collection of poems, it blurs the line between poetry and prose. It reads as a novel and the reader…

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

What Rhymes With Sneeze?

What is a rhyme? In this entertaining collection, fascinating facts about how different types of rhymes are made and work are revealed to young readers in a fun way, with lots of clear explanations, inventive writing exercises and lively examples. Said Sir Christopher Wren, ‘I’m having lunch with some men. If anyone calls, say I’m…

Will You Be My Friend?

How do you celebrate Ireland’s best-selling children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice? Will you be my friend? is an extraordinary anthology of over one hundred of Fitzmaurice’s poems from thirteen collections, and includes another twenty-six new poems for his well versed fans. The richness of language, while still being accessible to a child reader, is perhaps Fitzmaurice’s…
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