2+, 3+, 5+, 7+, Poetry, Review, Summer Reads

Dinosaur Poems: A selection of verses and rhymes with real bite! By John Foster and Korky Paul

If you thought dinosaurs were extinct, then think again! They live on in the stomping, chomping, growling, howling poem collection. So if you’re looking for poetry with a prehistoric twist, look no further than this sensational selection.

Poet John Foster was an English Teacher for twenty years but has been compiling poetry anthologies since 1979 and has written twelve of his own. He has a website crammed with poetry and inspiration and well worth a visit. Dinosaur Poems is an anthology of poems entirely about dinosaurs. It’s a fantastically funny and informative collection of rhyming poems that are perfect for reading aloud. I particularly loved ‘Ten Dancing Dinosaurs’ and ‘The Bookoceros or Ancient Thesaurus’.

The illustrations to accompany this fine collection of dino poems are provided by the rather wonderful Korky Paul (you may have enjoyed his work on the Winnie & Wilbur series). I adore his illustrations. They are filled with humour and interesting details that bring the words alive and adds another dimension to reading the poetry (I particularly love the bunny slippers for ‘Dinosaur Stomp’). There is always plenty to point at with Korky’s illustrations!

This is a brilliant little book of poetry. It is paperback and size wise is about the size of an A5 notebook. There are 21 poems to share and once you’ve finished reading them why not have a go at writing your own. 🙂

Dinosaur Poems is published by Oxford University Press Children’s Books. It was originally published in Hardback back in 1993 but is now available in paperback with Korky’s fabulous illustrations.

The paperback ISBN no is: 9780192767486 and should be available from all good book shops. For more information why not check out the publisher website.

Thank you so much to the lovely team at OUP for sending me a review copy. I absolutely loved it.

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Blog Tour, Poetry

Take Me to the Edge by Katya Boirand

Today I’m delighted to return to poetry for today’s stop on the blog tour for Take Me to the Edge by Katya Boirand.

FIVE WORDS IS ALL IT TAKES TO PROVOKE A CHAIN OF CREATION.

That is what Katya Boirand discovered the first time she asked a friend for five words and then turned them into a poem, using the words and the subject as her inspiration. This spark started a movement, and soon Katya was asking friends and strangers alike for their five words of choice.

Take Me to the Edge is a selection of these poems, sitting alongside a portrait of each subject, in this stunning and joyous celebration of language, connection and art.

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The more poetry I read the more I love it.  There are so many different ways to be creative with it and with Take Me to the Edge Katya Boirand is taking an exciting and inspiring approach.  A idea awakened by rediscovered words in her travel diaries, Katya decided to begin the project of ‘Poetry by Me, Inspired by You’. The premise being to take five words given by ‘inspirers’ – these are people from all over the world who have touched Katya’s life in some way – from which she then creates a poem from.  Each poem is then beautifully displayed in the book alongside a photograph illustrating the giver of words and ‘the poetic world’.

The photographs have been taken by Swedish photographer, Eli Sverlander.  They alone are absolutely stunning and when you sit them alongside Katya’s beautiful poetry a kind of magic happens.  It brings a whole new dimension to reading poetry.  The photographs show you a glimmer of the person who gifted the five words and this along with the poem made me wonder about them and their lives.  This tiny snapshot of their lives was incredibly inspiring.

Poetry is such an exciting art form, as is photography.  Each has the ability to tell a story just as complex and deep as the greatest tome of literature.  By combining both mediums in Take Me to the Edge, Katya and Eli have created a fascinating collection.  I loved dipping in and out of this book.  At the end there is a section on the subjects and their chosen five words and this adds a little extra insight into the creation.  Read the poems through first and then once again after discovering more about the people behind them. See if you then read the poems differently.

I really enjoyed the poems themselves.  They are quick shots of energy, each one stanza long but each creating powerful images like tiny starbursts within your mind. My personal favourites were those inspired by Ian Cameron and Hazel Thompson.  This book will make a wonderful addition to any bookshelf but I shall definitely be adding a copy to the School Library – it will be a great source of inspiration for our students in not only reading poetry but also creating their own.

Hopefully this will be the first of many collections from Katya.  She invites readers to submit their own five words to her via Instagram and it would be lovely to see more of these books including more subjects of all ages and backgrounds.  There is so much beauty in life and this is a wonderful way to capture it.

Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

Take Me to the Edge is published by Unbound on May 16th 2019.

About the author

Katya Boirand

Katya Boirand Author Pic

Katya Boirand is an actress, dancer, writer and poet. She has travelled the world but now has roots in London. Take Me to the Edge is her first poetry collection.

You can follow Katya on Instagram at @poetrybymeinspiredbyyou

You can follow Katya on Twitter at @Katyahazel

 

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Blog Tour, Poetry

The Point of Poetry by Joe Nutt

What’s the point of poetry? It’s a question asked in classrooms all over the world, but it rarely receives a satisfactory answer. Which is why so many people, who read all kinds of books, never read poetry after leaving school.

Exploring twenty-two works from poets as varied as William Blake, Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove and Hollie McNish, this book makes the case for what poetry has to offer us, what it can tell us about the things that matter in life. Each poem is discussed with humour and refreshing clarity, using a mixture of anecdote and literary criticism that has been honed over a lifetime of teaching. Poetry can enrich our lives, if we’ll let it.

The Point of Poetry is the perfect companion for anyone looking to discover how.

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Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Point of Poetry by John Nutt, a book to remove the feeling that poetry is highbrow or something that can be difficult to relate to or even enjoy. Poetry can seem scary, I agree with that. It’s one of those tricky mediums that people often shy away from because they feel they won’t understand it or are put off by a seemingly endless list of jargon that leaves them feeling that they simply aren’t allowed to enjoy it because they don’t know what it all means. Words like alliteration, stanza, metrical foot, octave, pentameter – it can all be very off-putting to say the least. Or perhaps those who read poetry are seen as one of those airy fairy types who gaze wistfully at the clouds looking to find the hidden meaning in every small detail in life.

Listening to a radio broadcast more recently, about the popularity of poetry on Instagram, I heard an academic comment on how so many ordinary people felt excluded from poetry in the same way they did opera.

I have to admit I can find reading poetry a little daunting. I’ve studied it for a bit, written a little but am a true believer that there is a poem out there for everyone. I do not claim to understand all the complexities of the different type of poetry and the nuts and bolts of it all but I enjoy reading it. Therefore I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to read John’s The Point of Poetry. As a school librarian I try to incorporate as much poetry into the day to day life as possible. I’m constantly on the look out for poetry books that may engage and inspire our young readers and make it more accessible. I believe it should be an everyday part of life so much so that I try to have poems scattered in the Library and in display wherever I can sneak them in around the school. The right person will find them when they need them. Then once they begin to read they may be inspired to share or even write poetry.

Poetry affords people (not just students) the opportunity to express and communicate in all the colours of the rainbow.

The Point of Poetry is a breath of fresh air. Joe is a natural writer and he is informative, yet not preachy which is without doubt part of his ‘teacher’ skills honed and perfected over a lifetime of teaching. To be taught without realising you are learning is a great skill indeed. Filled with humour and fascinating insights into the poets behind the poems, this book does actually make poetry seem within reach. You may not have heard of all of the poets but that really doesn’t matter. Joe chats about the poet and poem beforehand but his observations are interesting, insightful and most of all easy to follow. This book is enough to set you off on your poetic journey. It’s not setting you up to become an expert but merely sending you off on smooth waters. Striking the spark so to speak and lighting your way.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for sending me my review copy and inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the author

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Joe Nutt is a former teacher with twenty years of English teaching experience. He has written books on Shakespeare, John Donne and most recently a guidebook to Paradise Lost for one of the world’s foremost academic publishers. He is now one of the leading educationalists in the UK and writes a fortnightly column for the Times Educational Supplement.
You can follow Joe on Twitter: @joenutt_author

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