Today I’m delighted to share a wonderful children’s book list in celebration of poetry! A collaboration with Mr Dilly, who is premiering a brand new free film resource for schools, ‘Top of the Poems’ this morning. Thousands of children across the UK will be watching the film, followed by Mr Dilly interviewing wonderful award-winning poet, Zaro Weil.
You can register for free to join this event -find out more here.
The Top of the Poems book list not only includes all the poems Mr Dilly features in his film, but also a whole host of fantastic children’s poetry books as chosen by me! Some old and some new, there’s something for everyone with classics by Spike Milligan and Michael Rosen alongside Joseph Coelho, Amanda Gorman and Laura Mucha.
Poetry has the most amazing ability to transport you to other worlds, capture the imagination and get to the heart of exactly how you feel. Use this book list to inspire readers to discover the wonderful world of poetry and try their writing their own poems too! Download the full list of 22 titles with descriptions below!
National Poetry Day is the annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry. This year, National Poetry Day takes place on 7 October 2021, and the theme is Choice. Find out more about National Poetry Day here.
Today is National Poetry Day, the annual mass celebration that encourages everyone to enjoy, discover and share poetry. This year’s theme is Vision and with activities centred on encouraging young and old to See it Like a Poet and #ShareAPoem, there’s bound to be a plethora of creativity and imagination coming to life everywhere!
Today, award-winning children’s poet Joshua Seigal, who can often be found visiting and performing in schools, libraries and theatres around the country sharing his poetry shows, joins us on the blog with a guest post about why every day can be a poetry day!
Welcome to the blog Joshua!
Every Day Is Poetry Day – Joshua Seigal
“It is great that we are given a day every year to celebrate the joys of poetry, but it is important not to forget that every day can be a poetry day!
Poetry is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to express themselves and get creative, and it can be embedded right across the curriculum in all kinds of interesting ways. For geography, why not write a poem from the perspective of a river or volcano? And in maths, you could try describing yourself using numbers, shapes or mathematical equations. Try to add a little bit of poetry to everything you do, a bit like adding spice to your cooking.
Perhaps you have studied poetry for exams, and have decided that it is not for you. It is important to remember that poetry is not supposed merely to be analysed, like we do in exams; it provides us with a chance to engage with ourselves and society, as well as the joys of language, in a way that is meaningful to us. To write poetry is to play with words, and we can use those words in incredibly powerful ways.
So how might one go about doing this? I always offer the following piece of advice when I visit schools: write about something you are interested in, that means something to you. If you’re interested in football, write about football. If you’re interested in butterflies, write about them. That way your poem will have heart and soul. It might also be a good idea to write in the style that you normally speak. That way your poem will come from deep inside, from the place that truly belongs to you.
Also, try to seek out poems on topics and in styles that speak to you. Simply saying “I don’t like poetry” is, when you think about it, as senseless as saying that you don’t like music or movies. A lot of people do say that they don’t like poetry; I even called my first book I Don’t Like Poetry! But remember that, just like songs or movies, poetry comes in all kinds of styles, and you can pick something you like! Nowadays you don’t even have to read poetry, if you don’t want to; you can watch it on Youtube.
Poetry is for life, not just National Poetry Day! There is no right or wrong way to write it, and there is no right or wrong way to consume it. There are as many different poems out there as there are people. Try to find something you connect with, and have fun!”
Just in time for National Poetry Day, I’m delighted to be reviewing the fantastic book, Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex, author and illustrator of many picture books and novels.
We all know nothing rhymes with orange. But how does that make Orange feel? Well, left out! When a parade of fruit gets together to sing a song about how wonderful they are – and the song happens to rhyme – Orange can’t help but feel like it’s impossible for him to ever fit in.
As soon as I read about this book I knew I’d love it – and I do! It’s a wonderful parable of how in order to fit in, we sometimes need a bit of help and for that to happen others need to make space and maybe adjust a little.
It starts as an amusing poem celebrating the wonderful and varied fruit, but as Orange gets more downhearted and desperate to fit it, the rhymes get a little more ridiculous. As Drew Daywalt said (author of The Day the Crayons Quit) “any picture book that can work in Friedrich Nietzsche and lycanthropic pears is a winner”.
Even Orange can’t work out what’s going on, asking questions throughout, creating an emotional commentary alongside the fruit parade poem. Finally, it’s a very intuitive Apple who realises certain fruit are “feeling rotten because they’ve been forgotten” and works out just how to help Orange fit in. I won’t spoil it, but it’s genius in its childlike simplicity!
The illustrations are a combination of photographs, text and drawing, bringing to life a vibrant cast of characters – the fruit we know and love. Young and old alike will enjoy this fruity tale, a good book to read aloud creating instant empathy. Original and with a great message celebrating difference, Nothing Rhymes with Orange is a wonderful book to help celebrate National Poetry Day!