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  • 1. Frances Lincoln Poetry Chatterpack Reading and activity ideas for your Chatterbooks group
  • 2. Great New Poetry from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books! About this pack Enjoy these latest poetry collections from poets John Hegley, Kathy Henderson, Wes Magee, Brian Moses and Grace Nichols, and be inspired to explore more poetry and write your own! This pack introduces you to five fabulous poetry books and their authors, with tasters from each book, plus reading activity and discussion ideas for your Chatterbooks groups. It’s brought to you by The Reading Agency and their Children’s Reading Partner, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. See http://www.franceslincoln.co.uk/en/ChildrensBooks Chatterbooks [ www.readinggroups.org/chatterbooks] is a reading group programme for children aged 4 to 14 years. It is coordinated by The Reading Agency and its patron is author Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Chatterbooks groups run in libraries and schools, supporting and inspiring children’s literacy development by encouraging them to have a really good time reading and talking about books. The Reading Agency is an independent charity working to inspire more people to read more through programmes for adults, young people and Children – including the Summer Reading Challenge, and Chatterbooks. See www.readingagency.org.uk Children’s Reading Partners is a national partnership of children’s publishers and libraries working together to bring reading promotions and author events to as many children and young people as possible. Contents  The poetry and the poets: about the latest collections from John Hegley, Kathy Henderson, Wes Magee, Brian Moses, and Grace Nichols  More poetry titles from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  Discussion and activity ideas For help in planning your Chatterbooks meeting, have a look at these Top Tips for a Successful Session And you can find even more poetry ideas in our latest Poetry Chatterpack ! available for download on the Chatterbooks website. 2
  • 3. The poetry and the poets John Hegley I Am a Poetato 978-1847803979 A very funny, witty, zany collection for children, which will also appeal to the author’s adult fans. It has all the John Hegley comic hallmarks, including references to wearing glasses, Luton, and dogs (being superior to cats)! The poems are arranged alphabetically by title, with family pets and other animals featuring strongly, from a mos-quito and ants, through wise camels, goldfish and guillemots to Toby the armadillo from Peru and not forgetting the unusual unicorn in school. The book is packed with John’s unique brand of deadpan humour, and is illustrated in scrap-book style with the author’s own quirky line drawings. About the author: John Hegley was born in north London and brought up in Luton. His eight collections of adult verse have mostly been published by Methuen, and he has two other children’s books in print: My Dog is a Carrot, (2002, reissued 2007 Walker) and Monsieur Robinet, a duallanguage storybook, pub Donut Press. He started out as a stand-up comedian/poet, performing his work on the festival and comedy circuit and he became something of a cult performer from the early 80s onwards. He has recently started to direct his writing and performances more towards children, but generally his shows will delight all ages. He plays the ukulele as part of his poetry performances. He is a Fellow of the English Association. John Hegley lives in Islington. A Taste: … Once our hamster got out of its cage. Titchy thought he was FREE which he was. But freedom brings its own problems. In this case it was the cat…. Kathy Henderson The Dragon with a Big Nose 9781847803658 Have a big adventure in the city with these funny, magical and brilliant poems! Read about the naughty dragon with a big nose, the gutter creature who rustles litter, and the dustcart dragon with his raging, rusty belly. Find out if the new baby is magic, and whether Uncle Clem really had a blue mouse. But DON’T turn your grandmother into a frog! About the author: Kathy Henderson is an award-winning author and illustrator, as well as an artist and printmaker. Among her many titles are the modern classic picture book The Little Boat, with Patrick Benson, which won the Kurt Maschler Award and was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. She also wrote and illustrated The Storm, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her 3
  • 4. books for Frances Lincoln include the colour poetry collection 15 Ways to Get Dressed, which she wrote and illustrated, Pets, Pets, Pets, illustrated by Chris Fisher, and Hush Baby Hush, Lullabies from Around the World, illustrated by Pam Smy. Kathy visits schools regularly, running workshops and performing her work. She lives in north London. A taste: Early morning the first hum is the milkman’s float on its battery run chattering the bottles down our street while we’re still asleep. Wes Magee Here Come the Creatures! 978-1847803672 A brilliant, varied collection of poems for very young children, suitable for early years and Key Stage One. Funny, sad, silly, sing-along, the poems are about friends and families, pets and creatures, school, space travel – and more. There is something for everyone in this sparkling collection – with lots of action and joining in. About the author: Wes Magee was born in Scotland, and worked as a teacher and head-teacher until he became a full-time writer twenty years ago. He has published 100 books for children, including poetry, picture books and storybooks. He regularly visits schools, libraries and festivals across the UK and abroad, performing his “poetry show”. He also runs training days for teachers, talks at educational conferences and runs writing workshops. His best-known books are The Very Best of Wes Magee, which won the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf Award, The Boneyard Rap and The Witch’s Brew. He lives in Yorkshire. A taste: …And inside Gran’s old diary something caught my eye one tiny buttercup pressed flat from years gone by. I’ll never lose Gran’s diary or its silver key that we found in the attic when you explored with me. 4
  • 5. Brian Moses The Monster Sale 978-1847803665 Chickens who wear jumpers, all kinds of monsters, a puppy’s favourite chews (a lucky dip of forgotten socks), staying awake waiting for your birthday, a bear in his underwear… . In his first collection for younger children, well-known poet Brian Moses has provided a funny and witty snapshot of family life, with a bit of fantasy added in. Perfect for sharing at home or at school. About the author: Brian Moses has been a professional poet since 1988. He visits schools across the UK and Europe, performing his poetry and percussion show. His poetry books include Behind the Staffroom Door: The Very Best of Brian Moses and A Cat Called Elvis. His solo collections and anthologies have sold over 1 million copies and he is featured on the National Poetry Archive. The Monster Sale is his first book for Frances Lincoln. Brian lives in a small Sussex village. A taste: If you should visit your school at night, it wouldn’t seem such a friendly sight. Open the door and step inside. There are so many places where something could hide… Grace Nichols Cosmic Disco 978-1847803986 A sparkling galaxy of new poems by one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary poets. From Aurora Borealis, Sun – You’re a Star, to Lady Winter’s Rap, the Earthworm Sonnet and You – a Universe Yourself, this is brilliant poetry with an astonishing range – comic riddles, animals and nature, home truths and the explosive wonder of the cosmos. About the author: Grace Nichols was born and brought up in Guyana, but has lived in the UK since 1977. Her first poetry collection for adults, I is a Long-Memoried Woman, won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and was dramatised for radio and film. Grace has written many highly regarded poetry books for adults and children. Her children’s books include Come on into my Tropical Garden, Everybody Got a Gift and Paint me a Poem, inspired by art in the Tate Galleries, where she was poet in residence. Grace Nichols lives in Lewes, Sussex, with her husband, the poet John Agard. A taste: Rocking-with-wind trees waltzing-with-moon ocean Everything in purposeful motion like the lifting lark or the swirls of Saturn… 5
  • 6. More poetry from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books James Carter 9781847801685 Debjani Chatterjee & Brian D’Arcy Let’s Celebrate! 9781847804792 Paul Cookson Give Us a Goal! 9781847803412 Wendy Cooling (ed) A is Amazing: Poems about feelings 9781847802552 Kathy Henderson Hush, Baby Hush! 9781845079673 Kathy Henderson Pets, Pets, Pets! 9781845070960 Kathy Henderson Fifteen Ways to Get Dressed 9780711208438 Roger McGough An Imaginary Menagerie 9781847801661 Roger McGough Lucky 9781847803214 Tony Mitton Come into this Poem 9781847801692 Cheryl Moskowitz Can it be about Me? 9781847803405 Brian Patten Thawing frozen frogs 9781847803405 Rachel Rooney 6 Hey Little Bug! Poems for Little Creatures The Language of Cat 9781847801678 (pbk Oct 2013)
  • 7. Some ideas for your Chatterbooks sessions Here are some discussion, activity and writing ideas for your Chatterbooks group, linked to the poems in the collections featured in this pack. Make your own group poetry book, inspired by these poems and poetry-writing ideas. You can write poems together, and individually, and for each poem use the template page at the end of the pack. Think of a title for your group’s book and design and create a title page together. You could use a ring-binder to collect all your poems together – then share the book with your friends and families, and display it in the library. Poetry X Factor! Each choose your favourite poem/s from these books. Practise reading them out loud – you might want to do this individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You could learn them off by heart! – there is the secret of how to memorise poems in this book: Off By Heart by Roger Stevens (Bloomsbury 978-1408192948) Then have a special Chatterbooks Poetry Show – read and recite your chosen poems to each other and vote for the poem which you think has the biggest X Factor! The Power of Poetry  Painting pictures with words – eg. Dustcart Dragon (Kathy Henderson); In Bluebell Wood (Brian Moses)  Telling stories – eg. Bees (John Hegley); George the Plumber (Kathy Henderson)  Expressing feelings – eg. Walking Energy (Brian Moses)  Enjoying sounds and rhythm – eg. The Digging Song (Wes Magee)  Getting people to think about things – Brian (Grace Nichols) Poetry can be a wonderful way to do all these things and more. Look at the above poems and talk about this in your group – what do they think about poetry? What do they like about it? What don’t they like? 7
  • 8. John Hegley I Am A Poetato: Some discussion and activity ideas Write an Acrostic Have a look at the acrostic poems Fish and Owl – eg. On Wards Lofty O Winged Looker Get your group to have a go at their own acrostic poems about birds and animals. The Differences between Dogs and Deckchairs This is a lovely quirky example of a ‘list’ poem, which gets you thinking as well! Your group could write their own poem together, inspired by this:  Think of two contrasting things for your title – eg. The Differences between Cats and Cars.  Then collect your list on a flip chart sheet, with everyone contributing - eg. A car doesn’t say meow Cats don’t have an engine…… And you will have a rather interesting poem! Talking about the poems John Hegley’s poems often seem simple but they get you thinking a lot. Choose one of these to read together and talk about: Guillemot; Invisible Hamster; Wise Camel; Youcan. Some questions to get the discussion going: What do you think is the main thing being said in this poem? How does the poem make you feel? Why? Any bits/lines which you specially like? What do you think of these different ways of setting out poetry?  Using handwriting rather than a print type-face (Invisible Hamster)  Using different type-faces and lay-out (Guillemot, Youcan) 8
  • 9. Kathy Henderson The Dragon with a Big Nose: Some discussion and activity ideas Reading: The Point  Read Today I Read a Bus Stop  Then give your group a big sheet of flip chart paper, divided into 2 columns.  Ask them to list in the left hand column all the things they have read today.  Then in the right hand column, next to each thing read, write down what was the result of reading it – eg. ‘caught the right bus’; ‘felt happy’…  This is a lovely way to think of the place of reading in our lives – and for those who think they don’t really read, it shows that they do Fox Read this poem to your group. Ask them what stands out most for them from the poem. Have they seen foxes? Where? What were they doing? Look together at the poem on the page: the different lengths and placing of the lines. What effect does this have? My Grandma This poem paints a really interesting picture of the kind of person ‘my grandma’ is – by listing the things she does you can picture what kind of person she is, even imagine what she might look like. Have a go at writing a poem in the same way about someone in your family, or one of your friends. Wes Magee Here Come the Creatures: Some discussion and activity ideas Looking for inspiration Choose a Wes Magee poem which you could use as a model for writing your own. Look at the structure and shape of the poem – what rhyming pattern does it have? - Inspired by Stroke the Cat you could write Pat the Dog! - What’s Yellow? could give you ideas for What’s Green? Blue? Any colour…. - Wes Magee’s poems are often about the ordinary things which we do and which happen in our lives. Have a look for example at Seaside Day, Going to Gran’s, Sam’s Staying with Me, and then have a go at writing about something about you and your life. 9
  • 10. Gran’s Old Diary This is about memories and treasures from the past. Talk about the poem. What objects might you want to keep to remind you of something which is special to you now? Or what memories would you want to write down, and keep in a diary, or in a poem? Brian Moses The Monster Sale: Some discussion and activity ideas Shapes Have a look at Brian Moses If I were a Shape and write your own version of this You’ll see that it doesn’t need to rhyme. Start and end each verse with ‘If I were a circle/square/triangle/cone etc’ and then have 3 lines in between about what you might be in that shape. Eg. If I were a cone, I’d be an ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, I’d be a head-dress for a lady in medieval days, I’d be attached to a branch of an evergreen fir, If I were a cone….. ‘List’ Poems Brian Moses has a great ‘list’ poem in A Good Scary Poem Needs…. Write a poem like this with the title A Good Funny Poem Needs…..! Another good ‘list’ poem is Worst Crimes Our Dog is Guilty of…. You could have a go at Worst Crimes Our Cat/My Baby Brother is Guilty of….! Our Favourite Reads In Big Ted, Enid Blyton and Me Brian Moses remembers how he enjoyed reading Enid Blyton books when he was a child. …Her stories were great adventure, Happy days and laughter, Stories that we knew would end, Happily ever after. What are your group’s favourite books now? Could you write a poem about your favourite? – eg. Wimpy Kid Think about including:  What happens in the books – the adventures which you join in, in your imagination  Where you read the books – in bed? in a cosy chair? Somewhere outside?  How the books make you feel  What you will remember most about them 10
  • 11. Grace Nichols Cosmic Disco: Some discussion and activity ideas Short Poems Grace Nichols has some very short poems which still paint very vivid pictures – pick these out and talk about each of them. Which is the group’s favourite? Ask everyone to write their own short poem on anything they like. Read them out to each other. Sonnet to an Earthworm This is inspired by William Blake’s poem The Tyger. Read and talk about the Sonnet, getting people’s responses to it. Then read and look at Blake’s poem. Talk about what comparisons you think the Sonnet is making - eg. the dread strength of the tiger, and the earthworm’s ‘squidginess’ – and yet, in its way, the earthworm is as strong and vital as the tiger. Here’s the first verse of The Tyger, and a link to the whole poem: Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~keith/poems/tyger.html Riddles What Am I? and Who Makes Her Own Bed? are poems which are also riddles. Read each one to your group without revealing the end/answer and see if they can work out what each poem is about! Clouds Sky Artist is all about the shapes you can see in the clouds. (In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet he says ‘Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?’) Your group could:  Look at the clouds – what shapes do they see? Can they make a poem from this?  From information books and the internet, find out about some different types of cloud formations – eg. Cirrus; Cumulus; Nimbus 11
  • 12. Our Chatterbooks Poetry Book Title of poem Name of poet 12