The Nation’s Favourite Children’s Poems ★★★★½

IMG_08631This poetry collection, produced in 2001, is a collection of famous, well-loved children’s poems by many well known authors, selected by Spike Milligan. Having received this book for Christmas when it first came out I had many of the poems read to me when I was extremely young, and have also reread it multiple times since. I loved rereading this collection now that I am older; I think it is a brilliant collection of poems, for younger readers or just anyone of any age wanting to read some wonderful, humorous, heart-felt poetry.

This poetry collection is split into sections: poems about animals, poems about family, bedtime poems, poems about magical creatures, poems about the seasons etc. I really enjoyed reading the poems grouped in this way, loving reading about all the different themes: in particular, the magical poems were enchanting and heart-warming, and the ones about family were incredibly humorous and relatable! Not only do I think this collection has a great mix of topics, it also includes many brilliant poets – including A. A. Milne, Rudyard Kipling, Sylvia Plath and Lewis Carroll – and also poems from an impressively broad time-range, from the early 1800s to the millennium. I really appreciated this diversity in a children’s poetry collection, although it certainly could have included more female authors; this collection is, unsurprisingly, heavily male dominated.

The Trouble With My Sister by Brian Patten

My little sister was truly awful,
She was really shocking,
She put the budgie in the fridge
And slugs in Mummy’s stocking…

I loved the poems in this collection was I was younger, and I do think they are brilliant to read to younger children. Nevertheless, I did not enjoy them any less reading it this time around as an adult. Reading this book gave me a lovely, nostalgic feel – especially during poems I read countless times during my childhood – but I do think they are genuinely good in their own right, apart from this. I often found myself smiling and laughing as I read through the book! As well as being wonderfully entertaining, the poetry in this collection is also cleverly and subtly educational, discussing simple things such as the alphabet but also more complex notions such as time.

The ABC by Spike Milligan

T’was midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut,
When suddenly from the alphabet
Was heard a loud ‘Tut-tut!’

Said A to B, ‘I don’t like C;
His manners are a lack.
For all I ever see of C
Is a semi-circular back!’

‘I disagree,’ said D to B,
I’ve never found C so.
From where I stand, he seems to be
An uncompleted O.’ …

Overall, I would really recommend the poetry collection to anyone wanting some fun, acceible poetry, anyone wanting to become more familiar with famous children’s poems and poets, or anyone wanting to buy the collection to either read to a child or for a child to read themselves. It has a brilliant mix of poetry from different authors and years, and discusses lots of different fun themes. I love this wonderful poetry book!


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