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Wild in the Streets: 20 Poems of City Animals

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Over the last few years the poetry market has positively boomed, seeing a continuous growth of over 66% in sales between 2012-2017, along with the number of BAME, LGBTQ+ and women poets AND audience increasing. And it's no surprise after having poetry bestselling books like The Lost Words, I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree and A Poem For Every Night of the Year take the book market by a storm!

With National Poetry Day becoming bigger and better every year, and the number of prestigious children's poetry awards including CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) and the LoveReading4Kids Poetry Prize celebrating the craze, it's inspiring to see how many more children are discovering, engaging and enjoying poetry.

(PS. check out my 2018 National Poetry Day Round-up blog post here for some must-read poetry recommendations!)

I recently read the beautifully illustrated, Wild in the Streets: 20 Poems of City Animals by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Gordy Wright and fell in love with the magic of poetry all over again.

Buzzing with city life and animal activity, Singer has brought the soul and spirit of worldwide urban landscapes to the comfort of your home through twenty fascinating and eye-opening poems of wild animals that patrol the streets and live amongst humans.

From pythons navigating Singapore's sewers to monkey's living within historic temples of New Delhi to wild boars travelling freely between East and West Berlin, a new world is discovered between the pages of Wild in the City as we witness wildlife both managing and struggling to adapt and survive within massively populated cities. At times amusing, and others poignant, each animal's story is introduced with a lively and lyrical poem, followed by a brief, informational paragraph that highlights how animals have adapted to the constant challenges faced due to a continuously changing society.

With eight different poetry forms and techniques (haiku, cinquain, sonnet, terza rima, villanelle, triolet, reverso, acrostic, and free verse) used throughout the book, with detailed definitions of these explained at the end, Wild in the Streets makes for a brilliant teaching resource as it does a family book to spark curiosity in children.

Wright's illustrations are the cherry on top of a perfect cake - as each beautifully, captivating spread showcase each animal within their city habitats. All in all, a unique collection that will have many discovering new neighbours they didn't know they had!


I've rounded up some key reading material for those wanting to read a little deeper. Take a look...

If you enjoyed Wild in the Streets be sure to check out Lonely Planet Kids' Wild in the City: A guide to urban animals around the world!

Discover the secret lives of more than 30 extraordinary creatures that share our cities. From red foxes sneaking rides on London buses to leopards prowling the backstreets of Mumbai, this book explores the clever ways animals have adapted to the urban environment and explains how you can help protect your wild neighbors.

Crammed with buildings, traffic, and people, urban spaces are the last place you'd expect to see wildlife. But all kinds of animals live alongside us in the hidden corners of our towns and cities--from ants living under pavement cracks to monkeys and spotted hyenas living among locals.

Travel from city to city across six different continents to meet some of these amazing animals. There are tips on where and when you might see them, what signs to look for, and how you can help make our cities more nature-friendly places. You'll also see the conservation status of each animal, from the species of least concern to those that are endangered.



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