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Superb and Successful School Stanzas,
This review is from: Heard it in the Playground (Puffin Books) (Paperback)
This year (2009) is the 20th anniversary of this excellent sequel to 'Please Mrs Butler'. Although old favourites such as Mrs Butler and Derek Drew return, this is far more than another selection of poems about life in a primary school. There are lengthy poems such as 'Kicking a Ball' and 'Heard it in the Playground' that are suitable for choral speaking and I have heard them used as a centrepiece for school assemblies, including the now traditional Leavers' Assembly for Year 6's at the end of the Summer Term.
Like the other two books in this series, the poems are accompanied by perfect illustrations by Fritz Wegner which complement the poetry in a most satisfying manner. Apart from the classic lengthier poems which are extremely catchy, there are shorter ones such as 'Not Now, Nigel' about an extremely keen pupil and 'The Mrs Butler Blues'. However, possibly the finest example and one full of a mixture of emotions including memory, pathos and reflection is 'Leavers' Song' which is a staple ingredient of many final and memorable assemblies. An excerpt is:
"Goodbye, old school,
We'll miss you a lot -
The din and the dinners,
Believe it or not,
We'll miss you, Miss,
And remember you, Sir,
When lessons have faded
And homework's a blur,
Goodbye, old school,
We'll miss you a lot.........."