Video of Absent by Bernard Young

Just received a link today to this video we made a few years ago at a poets retreat. It was fun to make. I’d forgotten all about it.  Absent has been one of my most popular poems.

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What Are You Like? New Book with over 80 Poems for Children

I will be launching my new book of poems for children on Saturday 24th February at the Between The Lines Festival in Sheffield. I will also be doing 2 performances and workshops for families, so if you are in the Sheffield area, please come along.

The new book is titled “What Are You Like?” after the poem below. To order a copy send a message on the form on the books page.

What Are You Like?

I’m like hey
She’s like whoa
He’s like ah
I’m like ho

She’s like ha
He’s like er
I’m like really?
She’s like yeah

He’s like eek
I’m like shh
She’s like um
He’s like ugh

I’m like Mmm
She’s like eh?
He’s like oh
I’m like yay

3rd Patron of Reading Visit to Summerville Primary School #WorldBookDay

Bernard Young Patron of Reading for Summerville Primary School Salford

I am pleased to be returning to Summerville Primary School on Friday 2nd March in connection with World Book Day. This will be my 3rd visit to the school in less than a year as part of the Patron of Reading scheme.

On this visit as usual I will be reading some of my poems, but there will be an emphasis on the importance and pleasure of reading and how being a reader can lead you to also becoming a writer. I’ll be reading from my new book which will be published on 23rd February.

The idea of Patron of Reading is to build up a relationship with the school rather than just a one-off visit.

A Patron of Reading is a school’s special children’s author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their patron develop a relationship over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school.” Read more about the scheme on the Patron of Reading website.

World Book Day Free Lesson Planning Resources for Primary Schools

IT’S WORLD BOOK DAY ON THURSDAY 1ST MARCH

I am booked for the day itself and just have 1 day left free that week, if any school wants a visit to help kick off activities. Please contact me soon to avoid disappointment.

There is a resource pack for primary schools available on the World Book Day website here:
http://www.worldbookday.com/resources/primary/ and other ideas here: http://www.worldbookday.com/ideas/

A big part of the World Book Day celebrations is dressing up as a favourite book character, teachers and students alike. Unfortunately that often leads to some pressure on parents to be creative. Here are 73 easy World Book Day costume ideas from mumsnet https://www.mumsnet.com/books/world-book-day-costume-ideas

Can you identify all of the characters of the teachers from Oldfield Primary School in Chester in 2012?

Free Poetry Performances and Workshops at Between the Lines Festival in Sheffield on 24th February

I am pleased to be one of the writers at the very first Between the Lines Festival in Sheffield on Saturday 24th February. It is Sheffield’s Literature and Arts Festival for Children.

I will be performing and running workshops for children with adults during the day at The HUBS, 6 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2QQ. My sessions are at 11am and at 1pm.

I will also be launching my new book, “What Are You Like?”, with signed copies available to buy.

For details of all the activities see: http://www.betweenthelinesfestival.com

Free tickets can be booked using the links below.

Book 11am session here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/perfect-poems-with-bernard-young-tickets-41858002412

Book 1pm session here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/perfect-poems-with-bernard-young-tickets-41858021469

New Video – Anything – Poem Set to Music

We have made a new video over the last few days. I composed a short piece of music to accompany my poem Anything. The poem is about friendship and is suitable for younger children (KS1), but it is likely to appeal to older students (KS2) as well. This poem is in my new book, What Are You Like, which is due for release 23 February 2018.

Karen, my wife, is the guest performer reading the poem and also she made the video. The images are all shared by Creative Commons License. They are credited in the description on YouTube and below the video here.

Images in their order of appearance:

  1. kittens CC-BY-SA Susan https://flic.kr/p/52JU7z
  2. Chicks CC-BY-NC Andy Purvlance https://flic.kr/p/665D8X
  3. Labrador-Puppy CC-BY Tyler Allen https://flic.kr/p/a1gG6S
  4. Baby’s Best Friend CC-BY Brandon Atkinson https://flic.kr/p/96KrY6
  5. Buds CC-BY Juhan Sonin https://flic.kr/p/6DSpcV
  6. kids CC0 klimkin https://pixabay.com/en/kids-girl-pencil-drawing-notebook-1093758/
  7. children CC0 Bess Hamiti https://pixabay.com/en/child-children-girl-happy-people-817369/
  8. Best Friends CC-BY-SA Rod Waddington https://flic.kr/p/Wq9E51
  9. girls whispering CC0 Olichel https://pixabay.com/en/girls-whispering-best-friends-young-914823/
  10. Handsome Indian boys CC-BY Nithi Anand https://flic.kr/p/qpzJmX
  11. Cups Full of Chats CC-BY-NC Mo Riza https://flic.kr/p/3JM8pt
  12. Best friends CC-BY Robert de Bock https://flic.kr/p/UsGxgR
  13. The Cat-Circle of Love CC-BY-NC Gloson Teh https://flic.kr/p/8119Px
  14. Maternal instinct CC-BY-ND Tambako The Jaguar https://flic.kr/p/Muizu

Announcing New Children’s Poetry Book Available Soon – Release Date 23rd February

Promotion of 'What Are You Like?' Poetry by Bernard Young
I am delighted to announce that I have a new children’s poetry book coming out soon. “What Are You Like?” will be available from 23rd February, ready to show the world on World Book Day (1st March). We’ve just had a proof copy and it’s looking great.

What Are You Like?” has over 80 tried and tested poems that I regularly use in primary schools for poetry performances and workshops. Collected together from four books, several anthologies, together with some that haven’t been previously published. Funny, catchy, foot tapping, hand clapping, uplifting, lots of formats and lengths, something for everyone.

There’s a sneak preview sample below. If you want to pre-order a copy to be sent as soon as they are available, please contact me for details.

Wearing odd socks for Anti-Bullying Week #AllDifferentAllEqual

photo of feet copyright Bernard Young

Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun! It’s an opportunity for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality and uniqueness! Schools across the country are holding Odd Socks Days as part of Anti-Bullying Week (13th-17th November). I’m looking forward to going to one of my Patron of Reading schools, Summerville Primary School in Salford, tomorrow, where we will be reading and writing poems on an anti-bullying theme.

If you are looking for ideas on how to use poetry for anti-bullying lessons, I listed some resources in a previous post here.

While we are on socks, here’s one of my poems that is from Brilliant and will also be in my new children’s poetry book due to be published soon.

Orange Socks

Orange socks
Orange socks
I’ve seen a girl wearing orange socks

Not blue not black
Not violet not pink

Orange socks
They make me think

of red hot days
the sun up above
when you don’t need your scarf
you don’t need your gloves

Orange socks
Orange socks
Who’s that girl wearing orange socks?

Not brown not grey
Not yellow not green

But the orangiest orange
that I’ve ever seen

Orange socks
I like the style
Orange socks
They make me smile

Orange socks
Orange socks
Glad I saw that girl in those orange socks

Save the Date! World Book Day 1 March 2018

Just a quick reminder that World Book Day is 1 March 2018. That week is always popular and I have already been booked for the day itself. So if you want me to come to your school sometime that week to do poetry workshops associated with World Book Day, don’t leave it too late to book.

Update 7 Jan 2018: I am booked for World Book Day itself but still have some days available that week, book me soon though.

Anti-Bullying Week: All Different, All Equal

13th-17th November 2017 is Anti-Bullying Week #AntiBullyingWeek #AllDifferentAllEqual

Poetry is a great way to get young people thinking and talking about the issues and feelings linked to bullying and friendship in a positive and fun way. I’m looking forward to doing poetry workshops at Summerville Primary School in Salford on Thursday 16th November as part of our Patron of Reading relationship. We’ll be reading and writing some poems on this theme.

Anti-Bullying Resources

There are loads of great resources for lessons and activities in school on the theme of anti-bullying for this special week and throughout the year here: http://www.actionwork.com/bullyingresources.html

I’ve listed more resources at the bottom of this post.

A Poem

Below is a poem of mine from “Brilliant” that was also included in an anthology of poems compiled by Brian Moses, “Best of Enemies, Best of Friends” (2011). Even though right on topic, that book is hard to get hold of now. There is a new book due to come out January 2018, “The Same Inside: Poems about Empathy and Friendship” by Liz Brownlee, Roger Stevens and Matt Goodfellow.

I wish I was a robot

When robots are fighting
they don’t feel pain.
They bash one another
again and again.

They clang when they clash
They rattle and crunch.
Have head-on collisions
and don’t stop for lunch.

I wish I was like them
then I’d suffer no pain
when punched and kicked
and punched again.

If I was a robot
I could cope with a lot.
If I was a robot.
But, sadly, I’m not.

The Effect Of Poetry

When children are being bullied they cannot always put their feelings into words. Reading and writing poetry helps them to articulate those feelings. It can help by making them realise that others have felt the same way too. It also can help bullies to have more empathy to change their behaviour.

Even where there are no issues of bullying in your school, focussing on positive messages of what being a good friend is all about is also a great thing to do.  Here is a popular poem of mine, “Best Friends”, in video format:

Odd Socks Day: Monday 13th November

As part of Anti-Bullying Week, on the first day, (Monday 13th November) the organisers are asking schools across the country to hold an ‘Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week’.

Aimed at early years and primary school children, the day encourages young children to wear odd socks for the day, celebrating their uniqueness. Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun! It’s an opportunity for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality. There is no pressure on the children to wear the latest fashion or for parents to buy expensive costumes. All they have to do to take part is wear odd socks to school, it couldn’t be simpler!

More info: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/63635-anti-bullying-week-2017

Other Poetry Resources on Bullying and Friendship Theme

  1. A downloadable poem by Brian Moses about friendship taken from “Best of Enemies, Best of Friends”. Also included: information about bullying, teaching notes, class discussion activities and worksheets to use in English and PSHE. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/bullying-and-friendship-6085881 (requires logon to download)
  2. 7 Poems on the Theme of Bullying https://nobullying.com/poems-about-bullying/
  3. Article about catharsis for kids reading or writing poems about bullying by having their feelings articulated http://nobullying.com/bullying-and-poetry/
  4. ‘The Bully’ poem poster from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/7720 (requires logon)
  5. ‘I’ll be there for you’ anti-bullying poem poster from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/60709 (requires logon)

Poster available from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/7720Anti-bulying poem poster available from https://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/60709