My recent reading materials are mainly children’s poems. There are also always a couple of books on writing lying around so I could better reach for them during a manuscript revision. But the main event is nevertheless the pile of verses and nonsense rhymes and sweet poems climbing higher on my desk.
Poems for children are insane. Guess that’s why they tickle me so much! Writing them isn’t easy at all: the stresses, the feet, the metres, the rhymes, and the plot, and the characters … but the splash of images and the ‘mishmash’ (recently read this word from another children’s author and loved it) of characters, when done right, linger somewhere at the back of your head for days, weeks and months.
Here are some children’s poetry collections I have enjoyed:
· Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum Julia Donaldson & Nick Sharratt
· Each Peach Pear Plum Janet & Allan Ahlberg
· A Child’s Garden of Verses Robert Louis Stevenson
I haven’t read much poetry in the past because I thought poems were too abstract to understand. But children’s verses completely changed that. Poetry can be enjoyable!
I just borrowed two more collections from the library yesterday: Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic; and Allan Ahlberg & Bruce Ingman’s Everybody Was A Baby Once and Other Poems. I’ll share what I read from them next week.
For now, here’s a funny one from Allan Ahlberg I’ve chuckled many times while reading:
The Slow Man
The phone rings
But never long enough
For the Slow Man.
By the time
The set’s switched on
His favourite programme’s over.
His tea grows cold
From cup to lip,
His soup evaporates.
He laughs, eventually,
At jokes long since
Gone out of fashion.
And limited special offers
He comes home
With yesterday’s paper
And reads it … tomorrow.
Do you or your child have a favourite poem? Perhaps you would like to share its link with us here?
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
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by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.