Illustrated by Various
For ages 5+
Happy National Poetry Day!! It's the 6th October and I have to say I love sharing poetry with children in book clubs. There's usually a few 'whoops' and 'yays' when I tell them I have a poetry book with me at the beginning of the session.
I've been sitting on this amazing book since before 1st September. I know, that's bonkers right? The publisher, Little Tiger, may have wondered what I must be playing at! However, I wanted to save it for today so so much. The poems in this anthology are by a numerous selection of incredible poets who produce tantalising poems for children inclusion in collections like this beautiful one, or via their own solo children's books. This is book has also been very thoughtfully designed and bound by the team at Little Tiger. There are gorgeous end papers and the front cover of this hardback features a die cut character on the front. When the book says it's "poetry about empowerment" you can feel it oozing this from the care and attention to detail. The paper is very tactile and the colour palette is stunning.
Time is limited, unfortunately, otherwise I would have read the whole book to the children! I have children of Indian heritage in my group, so I started with this glorious celebration of a 'sari' and it's vibrant colours and design, which was just adorable, because one of the children then shared with us all about her golden sari she had worn in India once. 'My Sari' is written by Debjani Chatterjee.
I then moved to my second selected poem 'I Did It' by Valerie Bloom (a personal favourite poet of mine!) There was a captivated audience for this one! No matter the gender, I delivered this poem with some gusto and the children really went on a journey with this little girl, who despite the disempowerment messages, accomplished all her desires. We had a bit of a 'girl power' YES! moment afterwards. Joy!
I then asked the children if they ever worry about making mistakes in class or at home. Hands shot up, including mine! The beautifully presented double spread poem in vertical form 'Mistakes' by Nikita Gill (sorry I don't have an image for this spread - you'll need to borrow or purchase the book) captured their imagination as they were transported into nature thinking about how trees and creatures were haphazardly created and placed, rivers flowing in a meandering manner... perhaps thinking about nature and her 'accidents' we are able to think about how perhaps what we might think of as a mistake really is something you have uniquely created that might grow or lead to something else. Magical creative thinking! Brilliant for young minds.
There are poems about being a man, being dyslexic (this is an especially amazing poem!) being kind, being inclusive, standing up for your rights, and more. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do. Please consider purchasing your copy(s) from my online bookshop link below (UK independent bookshops receive 20% of the sale price and I receive 10%). Thanks so much!
Instead of providing the children with one of my worksheets each today, I decided we were going to make a poem of our own. The children decided it was to be about animals. Each child chose their favourite animal and told me what to write for their line... and together they came up with the rather 'cheeky' ending too! In the last couple of minutes of book club, a few of the children wanted to make a start on their own poems, which they will finish at home. Here's their adorable poem...the Head Teacher was chuffed to bits and is going to read it out in assembly tomorrow. Result!
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Publication date: 1 September 2022
Poets featured in this book:
Naomi Shihab Nye
Victoria Adukwei Bulley
Mahogany L. Browne
Chief Dan George
Illustrators for this book created by:
*the publisher kindly provided me a review copy
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