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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…

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…

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,…

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…

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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