Every teacher needs a personal bookshelf of anthologies and collections of favourite poets. Every classroom needs poetry in the book corner.
Pat Triggs has been on the look out for useful additions in the Infant/Junior range.
Once Upon a Rhyme – 101 Poems for Young Children
Edited Sara and Stephen Corrin, ill. Jill Bennett. Faber, 0 571 11913 1, £5.25
Two experienced anthologisers picking verse for those venturing beyond nursery rhymes. Lots of old favourites and a sprinkling of new friends – all tried and tested in school. Strong rhymes and rhythms and a delight in words and what can be done with them make a good signpost on the road to poetry.
My Family, 0 237 45649 4
Going Out, 0 237 45648 6
Shona McKellar and Jane Badwin, Evans, £1.25 each.
My favourites from the Poems and Pictures series. Selector and photographer quite rightly get equal billing; each poem is matched by a photograph which offers a talking point and a way into the poem for the young reader. Fifteen poems in each, well chosen for reading aloud and as a starting point for talking and writing: Daddy Asleep, Grumbling Mother and My Gran Sleeping, excellent poems from My Family, are all written by children. Attractively presented. Good use of colour to add to and reflect the experience of the poems.
(Ourselves and Night make up the quartet which is also available in one volume Here We Go. Evans. 0 237 45590 0, £5.95).
Come Along Again
Stanley Cook, ill. Margaret Wood. £1.25 inc. postage.
Primary teachers in the Kirklees and Calderdale Branch of the National Association for the Teaching of English (N.A.T.E.) have been working enthusiastically with Stanley Cook’s poems for some time. Despairing of traditional publishers they decided to go it alone and offer twenty-seven of them to a wider audience. A child-centred look at everyday things and familiar experiences.
(Write to: Studley House, 7 Cleveland Road, Egerton, Huddersfield HD1 4PP.)
A Third Poetry Book
Compiled by John Foster, Oxford, 0 19 918140 3, £3.95
Another in this excellent series. Something for all facets of 8+ life; school, family, friends, football, holidays, animals, jokes, fantasies and moments of pondering on the meaning of it all. Illustrations, by three artists, and photographs draw the reader in and help him or her make connections.
All the Day Through
Collected by Wes Magee, ill. David Shaw, Evans, 0 237 45597 8, £4.95
A poet and primary headmaster whose work increasingly appears in others’ anthologies offers his own selection (and has the good sense not to leave himself out). Ninety poems (in groups which follow a child’s day from Early in the Morning to And so to bed). From an enticingly varied collection of voices, wide-ranging in form and content. A real teacher’s book bursting with classroom potential.
A Packet of Poems
Chosen by Jill Bennett, ill. Paddy Mounter, Oxford, 0 19 276049 1, £4.95
A bookful of poems about that perennially attractive subject – FOOD!
Guaranteed to appeal right across the primary range – especially for those who need poetry which creeps up on them when they aren’t looking.
Out of the Blue
Chosen by Fiona Waters, ill. Veroni, Fontana Lions, 0 00 671960 0, £1.00
An anthology of weather poems which became indispensable the moment it appeared. As varied as its subject, rich and accessible for all ages.
A Light in the Attic
Poems and drawings by She! Silverstein, Cape, 0 224 02063 3, £5.95
A delightful, imagination-stretching mix of the ridiculous and the thoughtful from an American poet who is much anthologised. This will grab ’em – as sure as Milligan.
John Rice, ill. Jacqui Apthorpe, Aten Press, 0 903633 07 8, £1.50
The Literature Officer for South East Arts has recently found a new audience for poetry reading and performing in junior and middle schools. This collection, his first for children, is the result of this contact. Poems, rhymes, limericks, slogans with the accent on humour. Sometimes he seems to be trying a bit too hard, to reach his audience – but worth having for gems like Seaside Song which takes the ad for a famous lipsmackinthirstquenchin fizzy drink as its model.
(Write to 47 Hendley Drive, Cranbrook, Kent.)
Spine Tinglers, 0 7214 0748 X
Comic and Curious Verse, 0 7214 0747 1 Chosen by Zenka and Ian Woodward, Ladybird. 60p each
Useful collections with plenty of come-on appeal. Good value.