A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen

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A to Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen

Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An outstanding selection of children's poetry. It's bristling with a passion for language, with an exciting selection of modern work that will strike a chord with everyone - young and old alike. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: August 2009
Publisher: Puffin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0141324500

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Michael Rosen has picked the best modern children's poetry, from John Agard through to Benjamin Zephaniah. It stemmed from Rosen performing in schools and libraries with many of the poets, and as children's poetry anthologies go, it's amongst the very best.

I'm a sucker for a good poetry anthology, and I'm a sucker for Michael Rosen too, so A to Z pressed all my buttons. I started folding down the corners of the poems I particularly loved, and ended up with pretty much every other page folded over - it's not much of a help when going back to find the ones I want, but they're all fabulous. I'd love to just read them all out to you; I'd love you to read your favourites to me. It's a glorious book to dive into, to laugh at, to enjoy the use of language, to be moved by.

I'm resisting the urge just to copy out all my favourite poems (well, copy out the whole book!) but a few particular favourites are seeing the snotty teacher get her comeuppance in Trevor Harvey's The Painting Lesson, the powerful reality of John Foster's The Immigration Trap, the evocative storytelling in Allan Ahlberg's The Mighty Slide and Michael Rosen explaining the difference between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I also liked the touch, when unable to find a suitable poet beginning with U, of offering up:

U are a poet,
And here is your poem:
----------------------
----------------------
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Showing children that they can write too is a fantastic thing, and no-one can resist filling in a blank section! If you want to know my meagre offering, it was:

Nope. Not going to write one.
That'll show 'im.

There are many excellent poetry anthologies out there, but A to Z is a cut above them all. It's bristling with life, energy and excitement. It shows children exactly what poetry should be - it's fun, it's moving, it's evocative, it's playful. There are a range of styles and themes, but there's a real cohesion, and a sense of a rambling band of poets DOING poetry and sharing it, because they love it. The passion for language shines through in the selection, the words are bursting from the page, into the reader's brain and out of their mouth. And it's not just for kids either. You have to buy this book; you'll adore it. Highly recommended.

Huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

If you've got the poetry bug, you'll also adore A Kick In The Head: An Everyday Guide To Poetic Forms by Paul B Janeczko and Chris Raschka. New and Collected Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy is wonderful too.

Buy A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A To Z - The Best Children's Poetry From Agard To Zephaniah by Michael Rosen at Amazon.com.


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