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Tiny Owl’s Children & Poetry campaign continues

Pre-order Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me 

Poetry can have a profound and almost magical effect on people. One line of a poem can transport us to somewhere else entirely. Writing and reading poetry can help children develop empathy skills, aid literacy, and is fun! With the launch of our latest poetry book Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me we have started a campaign to explore ways that we can encourage children to get involved with poetry. If you’re a parent, teacher or poetry lover then we hope that this campaign will help inspire you to bring amazing poetry to children.

We contacted children’s poets and experts and asked them:

How can we encourage children to discover and embrace poetry for themselves?

We have a fantastic response from Liz Brownlee

Liz Brownlee: 

Children rarely need encouragement to embrace poetry – adults need encouragement to share it with them

Liz Brownlee

Children are surrounded by poetry from the moment they are born – it’s in the lullabies they are sung, nursery rhymes, playground rhymes, advertising jingles, music lyrics. They just don’t realise it is poetry – and maybe we forget as well. All you have to do is read some; thoughtful poems, exciting poems, sad poems, funny poems. There are 13 types of humour and even children as young as 3 respond to about 9 of them – laughing is clearly important at a young age. They find the rhythms and the rhymes and the repetition and wordplay irresistible. Rather like a supermarket tasting session that might tempt you to buy an entire packet of something, the poems you read to children are condensed morsels of flavour and delight to engage them. A poem can contain feelings and experiences they have encountered and have yet to encounter. They give voice to difficult emotions and subjects. They have a reader and a listener; they are made to share, and sharing is immensely important to children. A poem as opposed to a book has a perceivable beginning and ending, is complete unto itself, it is not a daunting prospect – it is child-sized. Children rarely need encouragement to embrace poetry – adults need the encouragement to share it with them.

Liz Brownlee is poet and National Poetry Day ambassador who lives and works in the UK. 

  • Check out other responses to our poetry campaign here and here 
  • Read Eloise Greenfield explain how Thinker began

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