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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poems to unpack, take out and enjoy., 24 Dec. 2009
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This review is from: Michael Rosen's A-Z: The best children's poetry from Agard to Zephaniah (Paperback)
I saw this book a few days ago and picked up a copy for my young grand-daughter who seems to just love the sound and rhythm of words that are put in the right order.

For his latest anthology Michael Rosen, our Children's Laureate from 2007-2009, has collected 127 poems for children from 61 poets that are 'rich with the many cultures, voices and sounds of the most exciting performance poets in Britain today.' In his short introduction, Michael encourages his readers to take a poem and 'see what it sounds like when you say it', or to ask someone else to say it, or to have a go at saying it together with others, or swaying to and fro to the rhythm of it - because poems don't just live in our brains, they live in our bodies.

Presented alphabetically, all except two poets contribute two poems each. There's just one from Allan Ahlberg - though it's 7 pages long!- and there are two from Michael, with a further six he's come up with for the letters of the alphabet for which he couldn't find a poet! One of them is for the reader to complete.

Several of these poets are new to me, though there are some well-known names too: Jenny Joseph, Roger McGough, Carol Ann Duffy, and Adrian Mitchell, who sadly died as the book was being collated, to name but a few.

Most of the poems are from the Noughties (sounds about right for some children, I know), with many of them being very new. On the other hand, some are over 20 years old, but there aren't any of those really familiar children's poems normally found in popular anthologies. The collection is diverse to say the least: funny, haunting, sad, serious and silly, and many other descriptions you might think of.

Here are just two examples. From Brian Moses's poem Spider-swallowing we learn that 'everyone swallows at least eight spiders in one lifetime!'. Well, there you go. Furthermore, Michael Rosen himself, in The Difference, reveals to the uninitiated amongst us that what a hotel in Glasgow knows as 'soap' is in fact known as a 'skincare bar' in Edinburgh. I'm not sure whether the respective tariffs reflect this mattter.

Go on, take a risk. Children will find it's a good read, and may say so, out loud.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Mar 2012 08:55:57 GMT
Mark Twain says:
Journalist Lisa Holst made up the 'fact' about spiders when trying to show how ridiculous information can spread on the internet, without anyone checking its veracity. Google 'spider swallow snopes'.
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Location: England

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