A bucket for the truth

The poet Adrian Mitchell once described poetry as, “a bucket for holding the truth”. Adrian Mitchell was one of my favourite writers, and poetry is one of my favourite types of writing. So this is a space for some poems…

SPOOKY POEM FROM CHELTENHAM LIT FEST

My thanks to the bright-eyed audience of youngsters who gave me such a warm welcome to the 2017 Cheltenham Literature Festival and brilliantly joined in the story fun. Here is the spooky poem we came up with. (I hope it’s not so scary it makes you jump out of your skins…like bananas.)

 

THE SPOOKY…

GHOST, VAMPIRE, SKELETON POEM

Our scary story poem

has a ghost in.

He is invisible.

He is spooky.

Our scary story poem

has a vampire in.

He is bloodthirsty.

He is fierce.

Our scary story poem

has a skeleton in.

She is bony.

She is creepy.

So let’s leave them in the poem

and go home,

where it is safe

and it is warm!

 

By children from Andoversford Primary and St James’ C of E Primary, working with Sean Taylor at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, October 2017.

Posted October 9th, 2017

PORTSMOUTH…A CITY OF YOUNG READERS

Many thanks to Portsmouth Schools Library Service for inviting me down this week. I was delighted to spend time with the quick-thinking children and dedicated teachers at Penhale and Court Lane infant schools. And it warms an author’s heart to visit a city which puts energy all year round into getting children excited about books.

Here are some poems that the children came up with…

 

MY PRECIOUS THINGS

 

My dark white bunny-teddy.

I will always keep him safe.

 

My beautiful family.

I will always keep them safe.

 

My fantastic friends.

I will always keep them safe.

 

My fluffy hamster, Harry.

I will always keep him safe.

 

My secret diary.

I will always keep it safe.

 

My special gold necklace from my nan.

I will always keep it safe.

 

by Year 2 children at Penhale Infant School, working with Sean Taylor.

 

 

THE LION, THE TIGER AND THE GIRAFFE

 

An angry lion!

An angry lion!

She’s horrible.

She’s got a fluffy mane.

She’s hunting for food.

She’s thirsty.

An angry lion is the angriest thing in the world!

 

A naughty tiger.

A naughty tiger.

He’s rude.

He’s mean.

He’s growling.

He’s selfish.

A naughty tiger is the naughtiest thing in the world!

 

A happy giraffe.

A happy giraffe.

He’s grinning.

He’s laughing.

He’s funny.

He’s ticklish.

A happy giraffe is the happiest thing in the world!

 

by Year 1 children at Penhale Infant School, working with Sean Taylor.

 

 

LOUD NOISES, QUIET NOISES

 

Louder than a lorry with squeaking wheels!

Louder than a clown, playing a trumpet!

Louder than a fierce lion roaring!

Louder than a huge rocket launching!

 

Quieter than a mouse squeaking.

Quieter than a carrot growing.

Quieter than a spider crawling in the music room.

Quieter than a baby ant tiptoeing…

 

by Years 1 & 2 at Court Lane Infant School, working with Sean Taylor.

Posted November 3rd, 2016

LITTLE POETS IN CHELTENHAM

Thanks to the young poets who came along to my session at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday. Look at these pictures with words that they painted…

 

ANIMAL POEM

 

An angry lion.

An angry lion.

She’s hairy.

She’s soft.

She’s red.

She’s sad.

An angry lion is the angriest thing in the world!

 

A naughty monkey.

A naughty monkey.

She’s fluffy.

She’s cheeky.

She’s silly.

She’s mean.

A naughty monkey is the naughtiest thing in the world.

 

A sleepy fox.

A sleepy fox.

She’s lazy.

She’s quiet.

She’s sneaky.

She’s greedy.

A sleepy fox is the sleepiest thing in the world.

 

A happy cat.

A happy cat.

He’s smelly.

He’s kind.

He’s smiley.

He’s funny.

A happy cat is the happiest thing in the world!

 

By children at Sean Taylor’s event at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016

 

Posted October 10th, 2016

A POEM FROM EDINBURGH

Many thanks to all you bushy-tailed children who came along to my SILLY STORIES event in Edinburgh on 23rd August. Here’s the poem you came up with…

 

OUR MACARONI POEM

 

My toy Lego – I will always keep it safe.

My green Transformer man – I will always keep him safe.

My Elsa and Anna dolls – I will always keep them safe.

My nice friends – I will always keep them safe.

My quite small toy telephone – I will always keep it safe.

My different-coloured bumble bee – I will always keep him safe.

My playful cousin, Freya – I will always keep her safe.

 

By children at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, writing with Sean Taylor.

Posted August 25th, 2016

AN ELEPHANT AND A MOUSE IN BRISTOL

Thanks to Bristol Foyles for inviting me in as part of their Storybox summer of events. Some of the children were feeling loud and some of the children were feeling quiet. So this is the poem we all came up with:

 

ELEPHANT AND MOUSE

 

Louder than an elephant stomping!

Louder than an ambulance zooming!

Louder than a whole skyscraper falling down!

Louder than a lion’s roar!

 

Quieter than a mouse squeaking.

Quieter than a worm in the soil.

Quieter than a hedgehog sleeping.

Quieter than a book waiting for someone to read it.

 

By children at Foyles, Cabot Circus, Bristol writing with Sean Taylor, July 2016.

Posted July 25th, 2016

PICKLED PEPPER POEM

Thanks to the dancing children and (and the dancing adults!) who came along to my event at Pickled Pepper Books event on Saturday. After reading my new picture book A BRAVE BEAR, we came up with this poem…

 

MOODY ANIMALS

 

A friendly pig.

A friendly pig.

He’s pretty.

He’s splashy.

He’s muddy.

He’s smiley.

A friendly pig is the friendliest thing in the world!

 

A naughty weasel.

A naughty weasel.

She’s sneaky.

She’s hidey.

She’s cheeky.

She’s flighty.

A naughty weasel is the naughtiest thing in the world!

 

An angry bull.

An angry bull.

He’s overtired.

He’s hungry.

He’s grumpy.

He’s loud.

An angry bull is the angriest thing in the world!

 

A happy dog.

A happy dog.

He’s jumping up.

He’s wagging his tail.

He’s playing with a toy bone.

He’s chewing up the toilet paper.

A happy dog is the happiest thing in the world!

 

by children at Pickled Pepper Books working with Sean Taylor, July 2016.

 

Posted July 25th, 2016

OXFORD PUDDLE POEMS

I loved taking part in the Bookfeast Schools Festival in Oxford yesterday. What a lively and quick-thinking audience from the five different schools! Thank you for having me. And here are the two little puddle poems we came up with:

 

Hot

Steamy

Reddish orange

Swirly

Crackly

Burning

FIRE

 

 

White and grey

Soft

Shiny

Precious

Round

Cheesy

Bright

MOON

 

by children taking part in the Bookfeast Schools Festival 2016 writing with Sean Taylor

Posted May 25th, 2016

BARNES GOES WILD

 

Warm thanks to all who came along to my event at the Barnes Festival of Children’s Literature on Saturday 14th May. Here’s the poem we all came up with:

 

ANIMALS

 

GIRAFFE! You spotty, jolly, tready-legged, leaf-eating long-kneck!

FOX! You red, sparkly-eyed orange-tail!

GUINEA PIG! You cute, chubby, toothy googly!

ZEBRA! You smooth-haired, lovely, black and white, stripy-patterned horse-thing!

 

by children at the 2016 Barnes Festival of Children’s Literature, writing with Sean Taylor

 

Posted May 16th, 2016

A POEM FROM OXFORD

Thanks to the young word jugglers at Oxford’s Story Museum who helped us come up with this poem inspired my new picture book A BRAVE BEAR…

 

OUR ANIMALS

An angry dinosaur!

An angry dinosaur!

He’s gigantic.

He’s a triceratops.

He has a long tail.

He has BIG TEETH!

An angry dinosaur

is the angriest thing in the world!

 

A naughty lion!

A naughty lion!

He has sharp claws.

He has stinky breath.

He steals bikes.

He is FEIRCE!

A naughty lion

is the naughtiest thing in the world!

 

A happy crocodile!

A happy crocodile!

He has splashy claws.

He has a big smile.

He has shiny eyes.

He has A TOOTHY SMILE!

A happy crocodile

is the happiest thing in the world!

 

by children at Oxford’s Story Museum working with Sean Taylor April, 2016

 

Posted April 25th, 2016

POEMS FROM CARDIFF

Thanks to all who came along to meet me at Cardiff Central Library on Saturday, as part of the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival. It was a delight to be in the middle of all those warm exchanges! And here are the poems you helped me to write:

 

SILLY ANIMALS

 

GIRAFFE  -  You tall, spotty, long-necked, dribbly leaf-eater.

PUPPY  -  You messy, hairy, running-in-the-garden, splashing-on-the-beach, cat-chaser!

ELEPHANT  -  You gigantic, flappy, floppy, grey stomper!

ANT  -  You small, crawling, tickly, busy rock-climber!

 

by children at Cardiff Central Library working with Sean Taylor, Saturday morning April 16th 2016

 

 

VOLUME CONTROL

Louder than a dinosaur roaring!

Louder than Dylan going OWWWWW!

Louder than a storm covering the night sky!

Louder than a lion growing!

Louder than a children’s birthday party!

Louder than a tired baby crying!

Louder than a cross mummy shouting!

 

Quieter than a mouse creeping.

Quieter than a library.

Quieter than a fish swimming.

Quieter than a shy child whispering.

Quieter than a leopard’s footsteps.

Quieter than a quiet house.

Quieter than us, when we’re asleep…

 

by children at Cardiff Central Library working with Sean Taylor, Saturday afternoon April 16th 2016

Posted April 17th, 2016