Poems often tell stories or create pictures the reader’s head using carefully selected words and phrases. For a reader who doesn’t enjoy reading or find it challenging a short and snappy poem might be the way to engage them. Poems generally involve a much smaller amount of reading than a whole book and can therefore be perceived as more accessible by readers with a dyslexia profile. Our October Book Blog focuses on some fantastic children’s poets and poetry books. Hopefully you will find some old favourites and some new friends in this month’s blog. You might even be inspired to write a poem yourself!
Centrally heated knickers by Michael Rosen - Age 8 and above
Michael Rosen never fails to entertain with his poems and this collection of poetry featuring science and technology is no exception. Martians, woolly saucepans and centrally heated knickers all make appearances in this book of 100 poems.
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake - Age 6 and above
Roald Dahl has taken six nursery rhymes and transformed them. You will meet ghastly giants, brazen crooks and wicked beasts in these ghastly and gruesome rhymes.
Have you seen who’s just moved in next door to us? By Colin McNaughton - Age 6 and above
Colin McNaughton creates funny poems which are complimented by his amusing, cartoon style drawings. In this collection we meet King Kong, some pirates along with ghosts and ghouls all of whom are very concerned about a family who have just moved in!
Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt - Age 3 and above
Nick Sharrat is famous for his rhyming stories and for his colourful illustrations. In this book Timothy Pope has is testing out his brand new telescope in the park. Pages are created with a circular hole which mimics the view through the telescope. Can Timothy really see a shark? Turn the page to find out!
Silly Verse for Kids by Spike Milligan - Age 7 and above
Spike Milligan is definitely a poet whose crazy, absurd nonsense poems have stood the test of time. Silly Verse for Kids has been republished this year, still using Spike Milligan’s own illustrations and the poems are as enjoyable today as they were when they were when they were written, over 40 years ago.
Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah - Age 9 and above
It seems that Benjamin Zephaniah can write a poem about almost anything! In this collection he covers topics including The Queen, the sun, vegetables and sewage. He tackles some topics very seriously and others adds a dash of humour.
Dragon with a big nose by Kathy Henderson - Age 6 and above
This collection includes bizarre animals such as the gutter creature that rustles litter and the dustcart dragon. Many of Kathy Henderson’s poems take city noises and suggest that they are being made by magical creatures such as the dragon with the big nose.
Friendly Matches by Allan Ahlberg, Illustrated by Fritz Wegner - Age 6 and above
Allan Ahlberg has created a superb collection of football poems. The poems cover many aspects of the game and are written using a range of different types of poetry including sonnets and narrative verse.
Down by the river by Grace Hallworth, Illustrated Caroline Birch - Age 6 and above
This is a fun collection of Afro-Caribbean rhymes games and songs, collected byTrinidadian author Grace Hallworth. The poems are brought to life by Caroline Binch's bright and cheerful illustrations.
Dragon Poems by John Foster, Illustrated by Korky Paul - Age 6 and above
John Foster and Korky Paul have been creating poetry collections together for over ten years. This collection features poetry from a range of authors and features dragons in all sorts of situations ranging from being taken home as pets to playing the banjo!
Read, share, enjoy!
I hope that this monthly blog will give readers ideas about which books might appeal to those who are reluctant to read or have dyslexia. Dyslexia Action’s leaflet encouraging young reluctant readers is a good start for those who are looking to support young reluctant readers and readers with dyslexia. Dyslexia Action also offers tuition with specialist teachers to support those who may need extra help. Once needs have been identified, our specialist teachers can work with children, young people and adults to develop coping strategies that can assist with skills like reading and writing. For some, extra tuition can be a life-line.
The Book Blog is written by Alison Keeley who looks after Dyslexia Action’s Learning Centres in the South of England. Prior to joining Dyslexia Action Alison worked as a Deputy Head and for Booktrust. She has always read a wide range of children’s literature even though she technically stopped being a child some time ago. If you have any questions or suggestions about subjects for future blogs please do leave a comment below.
Reading hints and tips leaflet for young reluctant readers
Word Document version of this book blog