Whenever I write a poem (whether for adults or children) it has to SOUND good. I always SAY my poems out loud.
Poems can go FAST or SLOW! Words can clash and rhyme and connect and glide and purr and whisper and roar.
You can make sound patterns in poems when you make words rhyme and repeat the first letters of words (alliteration). You can make the tummies of words rhyme and the tails of words of rhyme.
All my poetry books for children show how I like to play with the sounds of words.
Poems Aloud by Joseph Coelho with illustrations by Daniel Gray-Barnett (Allen & Unwin 2020)
Today I am going to share a cool new book where Joseph Coelho plays with the SOUND of poems and Daniel Gray-Barnett does the illustrations.
Each poem has a tip for something you might like to try.
Some poems invite you to perform them with a friend.
Some poems invite you to read them in special animal voices.
Some poems imagine what it would be like to talk like an object.
Some poems invite you to show how a poem feels.
Some poems invite you to make puppets and do a poem puppet show with different voices.
Some poems invite you to do a tongue twister.
Some poems invite you to use rhyme you can predict.
Some poems invite you to move from loud to quiet (dimuendo).
Some poems invite you to move from quiet to loud (crescendo).
Some poems invite you to read really fast.
Some poems invite you to read really slowly.
Some poems invite you to read with suspense!
I highly recommend you getting a copy of this book but in the meantime I have read a few of the poems for a taster:
Paula reads ‘The Shockadile Crocodile‘ (you can join in!)
Paula reads ‘To the Countryside’ (a poem that goes from loud to quiet)
Paula reads ‘Speedy Rocket’ (yes this poem goes really fast)
Paula reads ‘This bear’ (a poem that goes really slowly)
JOSEPH COELHO is an award winning poet and performer from London, although he now lives by the sea. In 2019 he won the Independent Bookshop Week Picture Book Award for If All the World Were. He has been longlisted for The Carnegie Children’s Award with his poetry collection Overheard In A Tower Block. He won the 2015 CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award with his debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules. His debut Picture Book, Luna Loves Library Day was voted one of the nations favourite picture books by a survey led by World Book Day. His other poetry books include How To Write Poems and A Year Of Nature Poems.
DANIEL GRAY-BARNETT is an Australian illustrator and author based in Tasmania. He has illustrated 4 books for children, including the award winning debut, Grandma Z. His illustrations have been commissioned by clients such as The New York Times, Sydney Opera House, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, Warner Music, and The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. His work has been shown internationally and has been awarded by the Society of Illustrators NY, Communication Arts and 3×3 magazine.
Some SOUND Poetry Box Bubble activities
Have a look at the list of poem ideas above and see if you can write or read one like that.
I love the idea of writing and reading a poem in the voice of an animal or object.
And playing with rhyme. And playing with speed and slowness. And reading with suspense. And do tongue twisters.
You might come up with your own ideas on how to make a poem sound cool.
Alliteration is fun.
Rhyme can be easy or tricky.
You can match the starts of words or the middles of words or the ends of words.
You can send me written poems and drawings, or recordings if you like (audio MP3 or MP4 or video – YouTube links are easy for me to post).
H a v e f u n
send to firstname.lastname@example.org
please include your name age and name of school
don’t forget to put SOUND challenge in subject line so I don’t miss it
don’t put your surname on drawings or paintings or collages (Poetry Box policy)
There is no deadline while we are living in our bubbles! Every Friday I will post some work by children. I will always answer your emails but not straightaway. If I haven’t replied after 3 or 4 days nudge me as I may have missed it.
You can also try these Poetry Box activities:
Listen to Amelia (8) read 3 poems from The Treasury and try my activities
Listen to Philippa Werry read her poem and try her simile challenge
Make a memory album or page
Try my lost-wonder challenges and listen Sarah Ell’s new book Lost Wonders!
Loads of MAKING ideas inside and outside
Do something rainy or snowy! Watch me read my rain and cold poems from The Letterbox Cat
Listen to Melinda Szymanik read her alien mother story and try your own
Send me pictures, photos or poems of curious things you see on your walks
Listen to Maisie and I read fish poems and invite you to do fishy things
Listen to my unpublished very very very strange tail story and do some illustrations for it or invent your own strange tail!
Try writing a postcard poem from where you’d like to be!
Mixed up animals and hear Paula read ‘Anifables’ poem
Sally Sutton’s magic hat challenge
Celebrate your hero and listen to Barbara Else read
Tell me about your favourite bookshop or library
Try my Pass the Poem challenge with friends and family by phone or email
Write draw video comic strip letters poems stories about being in your bubble
My cloudy challenges and hear my cloud poem
My thank our supermarket workers challenge
Listen to me read Aunt Concertina and offer a cool challenge
Listen to me read my poem ‘Lick Lick Riff’ dog poem and offer a doggy cat tiger bat any animal challenge
Check out David Hill’s wonderful photo challenge
Listen to Swapna Haddow read her book and try a rabbit challenge
Try Johanna Aitchison’s hunt the teddy challenges
Ruth Paul reads her muddy poem and I offer muddy challenges