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Poems and Rhymes

A Ticket to Kalamazoo!: Zippy Poems To Read Out Loud

James Carter & Neal Layton


As the title of this poetry collection says, these are ‘zippy poems to read out loud’! Each poem will excite and engage young listeners and these are the sort of poems that children will quickly join in with and learn by heart.

All of the poems are written by James Carter, who has a unique talent for poetry for the young. Each poem is illustrated by Neal Layton and this will provide additional interest when read aloud or when children are browsing the book independently. The poems have clear and wonderful rhyming patterns and this helps to create their ‘read aloud -ability’. Some poems feature repeated patterns such as the title poem, ‘A Ticket to Kalamazoo’ which has a delightful chorus to join in with and ‘Elephant beat’ has an unforgettable repeated question, ‘Fancy a ride on an elephant?’.

The subjects of the poem range from animals to adventures to new versions of traditional stories: ‘Fuss! Fuss! Fuss! or The Goldilocks Rap’ is a favourite! Minibeasts have a high profile in a few of the poems and despite their critical place in our eco-system are rarely celebrated in poetry and these poems make a useful contribution. This is a joyous collection of poetry that would be perfect to read aloud in those spare moments across the school day or in a poetry feast at the end of the day!

An Emotional Menagerie

The School of Life

Emotions are like animals: No two are quite the same. Some are quiet; some are fierce; And all are hard to tame. An Emotional Menagerie is an emotional glossary for children. A book of 26 rhyming poems, arranged alphabetically, that bring our feelings to life - Anger, Boredom, Curiosity, Dreaminess, Embarrassment, Fear, Guilt, and more. The poems transform each emotion into a different animal to provide a clear and engaging illustration of its character: how it arises; how it makes us behave and how we can learn to manage its effects. Boasting a rich vocabulary, the poems also give children a wide variety of options for describing their feelings to others. Children experience all sorts of emotions: sometimes going through several very different ones before breakfast. Yet they can struggle to put these feelings into words. An inability to understand and communicate their moods can lead to bad behaviour, deep frustration and a whole host of difficulties further down the line. Like adults, they need help to recognise and verbalise their inner state. The greater their emotional vocabulary, the more likely they are to grow into happy, healthy and fulfilled adults. Filled with wise, therapeutic advice, brought to life through musical language and beautiful illustrations, An Emotional Menagerie is an imaginative and universally appealing way of increasing emotional literacy.

Perfectly Peculiar Pets

Elli Woollard & Anja Boretzki


We love this whacky A-Z of weird and wonderful pets. With a different pet poem for each letter of the alphabet (from armadillos to zebras via kookaburras to umbrella birds!), the poems are quirky and energetic, making them perfect to read aloud. Children will enjoy finding the poem that matches their name's initial or just dipping in and out of the rhythmical menagerie of verses.

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