Poetry to make children’s hearts sing by various artists – children’s book reviews –
The Great Incredible Book of Poetry
Gaby Morgan and Chris Riddell
Big is really beautiful – and amazing! – in a gorgeous anthology, filled with wonderful words, inspiring ideas and illuminating illustrations, from the best team of editor Gaby Morgan and award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell.
The Big Amazing Poetry Book is a warm, fun and imaginative celebration of verse, and the ideal introduction to a diverse mix of poets, from famous names of the past like Lewis Carroll and Charles Causley, to beloved poets of today. , including Nikita Gill and new Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho.
With Riddell’s beautifully detailed and illuminating black and white illustrations, plus an insightful foreword by Liverpool poet Roger McGough, this perfect gift book is a rich and dazzling collection of poets and poetry.
Morgan, who has compiled numerous best-selling poetry anthologies for nearly thirty years, has chosen the perfect choice of poems that will intrigue and delight young readers, but also at times challenge and baffle them.
“Writing a poem,” says McGough, can be “a way of telling others about our real lives, our fears and our problems, a way of reaching out to someone.”
And this book is definitely one to treasure with its words of wisdom and emotional intelligence. The Big Amazing Poetry Book includes seven poems (one for each day of the week) by fifty-two poets (one for each week of the year) and a biography to introduce each poet. Readers can simply dive in and out of the book as the weather or mood dictates.
Packed with different styles of poetry – including ballads, riddles, tongue twisters, form poems, haiku (a short form of poetry originating in Japan), sonnets and raps – and featuring poems about the seasons, Festivals, Animals, Birds, Love, War, Food, Fish and Football and more, every page is filled with beautiful line art by Riddell.
From John Agard, Clare Bevan, Valerie Bloom, Steven Camden, Pie Corbett, Shauna Darling Robertson, Jan Dean, Peter Dixon, Julia Donaldson, Eleanor Farjeon and John Foster to Sue Hardy-Dawson, AF Harrold, Michaela Morgan, Brian Moses, Kate Wakeling and Zaro Weil is an unmissable meeting of visual and verbal delights!
(Macmillan Children’s Books, hardcover, £16.99)
And all will be happy to see you: Poems of women and girls
Ella Risbridger and Anna Shepeta
“Poetry is an art” and “art shows us what it is to be a person; it explains feelings and ideas that you never knew there were words for.
These thought-provoking words, by author Ella Risbridger, speak loudly and powerfully in a beautiful, exceptional book of poetry by Nosy Crow, part of their dazzling Poetry Collections series which includes I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree and Tiger, Tiger, Brilliant Burning.
Lovingly curated by Risbridger and dramatically illustrated by artist and ceramicist Anna Shepeta, this thoughtful and inspiring anthology features over one hundred resonant, passionate and uplifting poems by women and girls.
In her introduction to the book, Risbridger explains to young readers why she chose to collect only poems by women and girls, citing the long and unfair history of anthologies that included only male poetry and the lack of opportunities during centuries for women to transform their thoughts “into something beautiful”.
And so, in fairness, this lavishly produced gift book – with its cloth binding, stunning full-color illustrations, textured paper cover, marker tape, and head and tail bands – is filled with work of women and girls, including some as young as six and seven.
From beloved poets like Maya Angelou, Wendy Cope, Lucille Clifton and Christina Rossetti, to new voices like Amanda Gorman, Yrsa Daley-Ward and Ada Limón, this exceptional collection has poems for every mood and every moment.
Bursting with color, imaginative power and inspiring words and ideas, these carefully chosen poems are fully accessible to all age groups and guaranteed to inspire, delight and empower.
And as Risbridger reminds us in his introduction to the book, when you read a poem, “you see the world as someone else sees it.” You can see what they see and feel what they feel. And just knowing that your feelings are reciprocated is a magical experience.
(Nosy Crow, hardcover, £20)
When poems fall from the sky
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with its array of wild and wondrous plants, has inspired a beautifully illustrated book of poetry billed as “a tender and thoughtful love letter to the Earth”.
Original, enriching and wonderfully intimate, When Poems Fall From the Sky blends natural science and poetry to create a child-friendly riot of imagination, humor and joy… a veritable garden of delights and the perfect book to engage and enlighten young readers.
The collection of poems, which includes raps and haikus, is written by France-based Zaro Weil and is richly illustrated in color by artist Junli Song, an outstanding partnership that won the 2020 CLiPPA Children’s Poetry Prize for their Cherry Moon anthology.
In collaboration with Kew – renowned for its remarkable plant collections and scientific expertise – this magnificent book presents a wonderland of trees, birds, animals, rivers, flowers, mountains and insects, each sharing their own magical stories. And the stories they tell, the “poems” that fall from the sky, subtly and powerfully illuminate the hope of humanity and its collective role as stewards of the earth.
Weil spent time connecting with nature at Kew Gardens while writing the collection, spotting gumflowers, listening to birdsong, following tiny reflections of the sun and feeling the deep earth pulsing its mysteries. wild under his feet.
The result is an exquisite, fantastical and breathtaking anthology, comprising 28 poems in which Mother Nature shares dazzling verses, hilarious rhymes, timeless story-poems and heartwarming little pieces. From striking mushrooms and magic seeds to flying wizards and ten quintillions of swooping insects, each page bursts with color, mystery and the sheer delight of the natural world.
“I believe that science and poetry are simply meant for each other and that our uniquely human appreciation of the natural world is, at heart, poetic,” Weil says…and who can argue with that?
The perfect poetry book for readers of all ages!
(Welbeck Editions, paperback, £9.99)
Things that should be in a poem
Coral Rumble and Shih-Yu Lin
‘A weekend of time/ A great space to play/ I think I’ll collect/ A poem today.’
Poetry should entertain as well as make you think and that is exactly what this vibrant collection of poetry by Coral Rumble, a popular and award-winning poet who has worked as a poet and performer for many years, and now specializes in poetry. children’s writing and performance.
“Did you know that you can find a poem anywhere? You find them in homes, fields, oceans, cities, trees… the list is endless! I’ve even found poems about people’s faces, when they’re laughing, crying or getting excited,” Rumble says, and there’s plenty of inspiration for budding poets in the pages of Things that Should be in a poem.
The book is beautifully illustrated in color by Shih-Yu Lin who was born in Taipei, Taiwan but grew up in a village surrounded by mountains and often saw snow-capped peaks with the sun shining on them.
Drawing inspiration from this natural world, it offers young readers a gallery of expressive illustrations in colors and tones that perfectly complement Rumble’s range of warm and passionate poems – from funny to thought-provoking – and help deliver a magical blend of words and images that is guaranteed to ignite young imaginations, spark discussion and inspire a lifelong love of poetry.
So what are you waiting for… the hunt for the poem starts here!
(Troika Books, paperback, £8.99)
Various authors and various illustrators
Courage grows when it is shared! That’s the message that speaks loud, colorful and resonant in this beautiful collection of verses that features original poems alongside existing works.
Courage in a Poem – a book of thought-provoking poetry from a wide range of authors and illustrators – had been carefully created to inspire young minds and encourage children to rejoice in their identity.
Courage in a Poem features poems by Cecilia Knapp, Debjani Chatterjee, Valerie Bloom, Mandy Coe, Naomi Shihab Nye, Kate Wakeling, Elizabeth Acevedo, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Joe Cook, Jason Reynolds, Nikita Gill, Laura Mucha, Janet Wong, Nikki Grimes, Mahogany L. Browne, Matt Goodfellow, Sophia Thakur, Rachel Plummer, Jay Hulme and chef Dan George, and impressive works by Annalize Barber, Mariana Roldan, Masha Manapov and Nabila Adani.
The wide range of voices share their unique perspectives on the topic of empowerment. From body positivity and facing fear to celebrating heritage and individuality, contemporary poets take readers on a journey through the different ways we can feel empowered.
And the rich, colorful and vibrant illustrations bring more life and meaning to young people as they read the text and enjoy the visual representation of the words on the page. Young people can read the poems aloud or simply cuddle up with them in a quiet corner.
A book to share and cherish…and an invaluable entry to a lifelong love of poetry.
(Little Tiger Press, hardcover, £12.99)