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

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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.

World Book Day celebrates its 20th year on Thursday 2nd March

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2017 is the 20th year of World Book Day. It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

I’ve had some great visits to schools over the years in the week of World Book Day. Last year I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week, mostly in Manchester where I am based. I blogged about it here.

It is always fun to see how teachers and students dress up as characters from their favourite stories. Such as the teachers from Albrough Primary School in 2015 (read more)  and Oldfield Primary School, gosh was that one really 2012? (Read more).

Teachers in fancy dress at Aldbrough Primary School

Aldbrough Primary School

Oldfield Primary School

Oldfield Primary School

There is still time to book me for sometime around World Book Day. For an idea of how a day of poetry workshops can work in a school see here. If you are interested, please contact me to check availability and cost.

What ever you do, I hope it is something booky!

Another Message Poem for National Poetry Day on 6 October

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National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is another poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.

Message From A Miserable Tortoise

To whom it may concern,

Don’t expect
to see me today.

I’m fed up.
Depressed.
Withdrawn.

You can knock as hard as you like.
I’m not coming out.
Not even for a lettuce leaf.

I’m a hard nut to crack.
An unsociable bone.

Leave me alone.

I’m already booked for the actual day of National Poetry Day, but still have some slots that week, if you want to have me come to your school to kick off the creativity, or any other time of year is good too. Just contact me for availability and price.

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A Reassuring Message – Free Teaching Resources for National Poetry Day

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I hope all the teachers out there are having a lovely time still on holiday, sipping ice cold drinks, basking in the sunshine. But for those already thinking about returning back to school and lesson planning, there are some FREE LESSON PLANS and other resources for National Poetry Day on the NPD website.

Maybe a competition will provide some motivation. Here are some to look into:

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National Poetry Day takes place the first Thursday in October every year in the UK. Each year there is a theme and this year it is MESSAGES. Here is a poem of mine on that theme to give you some inspiration.

A Reassuring Message

Anything that’s broken
I will mend

Anything that needs to go
I will send

Anytime you call me
I shall attend

You can ask me anything
I am your friend

I’m already booked for the actual day of National Poetry Day, but still have some slots that week, if you want to have me come to your school to kick off the creativity, or any other time of year is good too. Just contact me for availability and price.

National Poetry Day is the first Thursday in October. Book a Poet www.bernardyoung.co.uk

A busy week for World Book Day 2016

Poem by nursury school class

It’s a busy time for a poet this time of year, and for schools, what with dressing up and doing lots of reading and great creative writing.

The poem in the photo (inspired by my I Like What I Like – see video below) was written with Nursery Children at Audenshaw Primary School, Manchester as a class effort. We performed it at the end of the day to the rest of the school. I was there to celebrate World Book Day 2016 and worked with every age group. A wide variety of excellent poems were written and performed. I had a great time, so thanks to all the staff and pupils for working so hard and for making me very welcome.

In all I visited seven schools just before and during World Book Day Week. Thank you to Abingdon Primary School (Stockport),  Gorton Mount Primary Academy (Manchester) who have a fantastic steel band who played for me, Old Hall Drive Primary Academy (Manchester), Alexandra Park Primary (Stockport), Broadfield Primary (Oldham), and (last but not least) Silverdale Primary Academy (Newcastle-under-Lyme).

Thanks also to Authors Aloud who organised a couple of the bookings.

I like playing in the park
I like tig and hide and seek
I like swimming and paddling
I like what I like I do

I like ice cream and Mexico
I like Sealife and Lego
Let’s say hello to our Leo
We like what we like we do

I like flowers and rainbows
I like hopscotch and videos
I like porridge it fills me up
I like what I like I do

Poet-in-school day at St Wilfrid’s CE Primary School in Manchester

Bernard on the timetable

Bernard on the timetable

On Monday I was happy to be visiting St Wilfred’s CE Primary School only 3 miles from where I live in Manchester. The day began in the hall where I gave a performance of poetry and music (great joining in from everyone) to the whole school. After that I joined Year 1 in their classroom where I played them ‘I Like What I Like.’ We then composed a version based on their likes and performed it together.

By the end of the day I’d spent time with every class in the school (EYFS through to Year 6). Loads of new poems got written – class poems, individual poems, poems written with a partner or in small groups (there was  a class poem by Year 3 about a big golden bird  – not sure where that came from! – which was performed to my guitar accompaniment).

Thanks to all at St Wilfrid’s for the fun and enthusiasm and for a well organised day that whizzed by. Hope to see you all again sometime.

Lesson Planning For Next Term? Inviting A Performance Poet To Your School?

Bernard Young in a school arms in air

A poet in your school? Why not? The right poet (I mean me! but there are lots of us) can offer an exciting start to your school day (I include guitar and just enough joining in during my morning assembly performances). The children head off to classes with loads of writing ideas already in their heads and I then work with all ages throughout the day.

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Teachers tell me that having an enthusiastic practitioner of the art in the classroom has a tremendous effect on them and the children. Together (teachers, children, poet) we produce fantastic new poems and usually share them before home time. After that we all go home (apart from the teachers who have yet another after-school meeting to attend).

For some ideas for bringing poetry in to the class room see my collection of blog posts on the subject – classroom ideas. Another way is to have a look at some of my videos on YouTube. They can be used for a sing along break during the day, or as a springboard for other poems using the same patterns. If you want to discuss what I could do in your school and what it will cost, please contact me.

Anthology update

Anthology

We’ve been doing some updating of the website, and as part of that a new page has been added with a few of the more recent anthologies that my poems have appeared in. The new page is here. Generally poets get a one-off fee for a poem to appear in a collection such as these, and the books reference the person who selected the collection, as there is no editing involved. My work has appeared in a lot more than that list, but that gives a flavour, and there’s no point in pointing to books that are no longer easy to get hold of.

Easter is over! When you go back to school, teacher, watch out!

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Teacher, Watch Out!

If I stare at you
You’ll develop a twitch

If I ignore you
You’ll start to itch

If I look through you
You’ll not be heard

If I watch your lips
You’ll muddle your words

If I close one eye
You’ll feel unsure

If I close two
You’ll disappear

So watch it!

If you set homework
I’ll shut my eyes

And you’ll be in
For a big surprise

You’ll see!

This poem appears in Wanted Alive by Bernard Young.