It's National Poetry Day on the 4th October and this year children's poetry has taken the market by an absolute storm. Today poetry is more alive than ever, it's side-splittingly funny, beautifully illustrated and very enjoyable. To The Lost Words winning the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year 2018, to the first ever official National Poetry Day Anthology, Poetry for a Change, hitting the shelves, children's poetry is on a rise. To celebrate National Poetry Day here is a round up of my top poetry picks!
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children.
They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed - until one day, they were gone.
But there is an old kind of magic for finding what is missing, and for summoning what has vanished. If the right spells are spoken, the lost words might return...
Winner of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year 2018, plus shortlisted for the 2017 Waterstones Book of the Year and the 2018 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize, The Lost Words is a beautifully breathtaking illustrated collection of spell-poems to re-wild the language of children. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world - Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
This is a magically striking picture book of the year and a very important one at that. It's a book that conjures lost words and species back into our everyday lives. Words that have been replaced by the modern child's vocabulary of 'wifi', 'tv' and 'phone'. To bring back these lost words in such an enchanting and beautiful way will appeal to children and adults alike. The poems and illustrations ignite curiosity and wonder of the natural world. This is a book to read, share and remember.
You can watch an exclusive Waterstones interview with Robert Mcfarlane about The Lost Words including Robert reading aloud of some of the book's magical nature spells here, and you can shop the book here.
A Poem for Every Day AND Night of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri
Compiled by Allie Esiri, and strikingly illustrated by Zanna Goldhawk, comes a magnificent collection of 366 poems in each book for day and night. Reflecting on the changing seasons and linking to events and key dates comes poems that are praised as 'thoughtful, inspiring, humbling, informative, quiet, loud, small, epic, peaceful, energetic, upbeat, motivating, and empowering!'
Containing a full spectrum of poetry from familiar favourites to exciting contemporary voices here Shakespeare celebrates midsummer night, Maya Angelou honors International Women's Day and Lewis Carroll hilariously captures April Fool's day.
Poems to Live Your Life By by Chris Riddell
Published just last month comes political cartoonist for the Observer, Chris Riddell's gorgeously illustrated collection of forty-six poems of his favourite classic and modern poems about life, death and everything in between.
Riddell has created the ultimate collection with classic verses from William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, W. B. Yeats and Christina Rossetti, alongside Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Carol Ann Duffy, Neil Gaiman and Roger McGough. Divided into sections covering: musings, youth, family, love, imaginings, nature, war and endings, this is a perfect gift for young and old.
I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem For Every Day Of The Year by Frann Preston-Gannon
Named after the first line of Judith Nicholls' poem Windsong, comes this lavishly illustrated collection of 366 nature poems - one for every day of the year, including leap years.
With captivating and playful illustrations, this beautiful hardback, having only come out in September, has gone to the top of my children's poetry list. Filled with familiar favourites and new discoveries, Preston-Gannon has thoughtfully gathered poems from all around the world whilst suitably structured to fit each individual day of the year. British nature has beautifully been brought to life on each page, enough to make children and adults alike stop in their tracks.
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
I bet you think you know this story. You don't. The real one's much more gory.
A classic! There's nothing more to say.
Six classic fairy tales with a gruesome, hilarious twist. With clever writing and rhyming and quirky illustrations by Quentin Blake this is a must have for any child's poetry collection. I'm a massive fan of Roald Dahl and remember reading this obsessively when I was younger. Every line is an utter treat and these poems have stayed with me forever.
When the BBC put together an animated version of this I was beyond thrilled! Cleverly weaved together, the adaptation is a must watch as much as the book is a must read.
Other personal favourites include T. S. Elliot's classically whimsical Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. In this stunning new gift edition of this much-loved classic, with the celebrated black-and-white illustrations by Edward Gorey, these lovable cat poems are a delight for children's and adults alike. A Poetry for Change by Chie Hosaka is the first special anthology featuring poems by the National Poetry Day Ambassadors, a top team of fantastic poets who bring poetry alive all year round.
Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls is a brilliantly feisty collection of brand-new poems in a celebration of the achievements of women and girls throughout history, perfect for the Rebel Girl Generation. With poems about Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, Margaret Hamilton, Ada Lovelace, Helen Keller, Mary Shelley, Edith Cavell and many more, this is an inspiring, motivational, informative poetic collection. From extraordinary women to extraordinary animals comes Apes to Zebras: An A-Z of Shape Poems. A gorgeous collection of animal poems, featuring a full alphabet of animals, birds, and insects, with the odd extinct or imaginary creature thrown in. The imaginative construction with a gentle simplicity to the text there is something to inform and delight children of all ages in this beautifully produced book.
Happy National Poetry Day Bluebirds!
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