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Poetry

List of Classic Children’s Books

Packed with delightful books that have more than stood the test of time, this hand-picked collection of classic tales welcomes readers into whimsical worlds filled with humour and adventure, imagination and intrigue.

Our youngest readers will love joining the intrepid explorers in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and laugh out loud at the timeless humour of Funnybones. Readers in Key Stage 1 will delight at the story of Dave and his favourite toy Dogger, and take comfort from the tale of The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark.

Those entering Key Stage 2 can soar through the sky on Mildred’s broomstick in The Worst Witch, or step into the magical land of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Thrilling and enchanting in equal measure, Tom’s Midnight Garden and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase are among our picks for those at the upper end of primary school.

These classics, with their familiar characters and timeless themes, will build a love of reading that lasts a lifetime.

Poetry

Best Poetry Books for Children Aged 9-11 – Upper KS2

Introduce your Year 5 and 6 children to a range of poets with our selection of poetry books for Upper KS2. From classic poems and nature verses to laugh-out-loud rhymes and award-winning collections, we’ve picked out a range of our favourite books that encourage a love of poetry for children aged 9-11.

We recommend introducing youngsters to a range of different types of poems, both for pleasure and for study. Upbeat collections like Matt Goodfellow’s Bright Bursts of Colour of Mandy Coe’s Belonging Street are always a hit for dipping into in the classroom. For more real-life and thought-provoking verses, try Joseph Coelho’s Overheard in a Tower Block or Sharon Creech’s much-loved verse novel Love That Dog. If you want something that’s always popular in the classroom for hooking KS2 children on poetry, try Karl Nova’s award-winning Rhythm and Poetry, which draws on the poet’s Hip Hop roots, or Benjamin Zephaniah’s collection Funky Chickens. For classic poetry, Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year is a handy addition to any teacher’s desk for a burst of verse in those spare few minutes at the end of a lesson.​

If you are looking for other Year 5 and Year 6 recommendations, be sure to check out our Reading for Pleasure booklists, and for more poetry ideas try our whole school poetry booklist.

Poetry

This stellar edition of her poems brings together work from her four award-winning collections for children, and sprinkles in a generous helping of new poems to match. From her dazzlingly debut Meeting Midnight through to her newest, brightest poems, Carol Ann Duffy’s writing for younger readers has always bubbled with wit and humour, intelligence and affection, and introduced us to many strange and wonderful characters along the way. Among the enchanting voices to be heard are those of the Loch Ness Monster’s husband, the oldest girl in the world and a herd of cows on a shopping trip to Manchester.

Chapter bookPoetry

Inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a refugee–fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama–this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration.

Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope–toward America.

This moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny.

An author’s note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà’s story. This paperback edition also includes an interview with the author, an activity you can do with your family, tips on writing poetry, and discussion questions.

Chapter bookPoetry

The first in a funny, deliciously dark, three-part series of twisted classics, written in verse by award-winning poet Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Freya Hartas.

A yellow moon hangs in a satin sky the night Cinderella, barefoot and in hand-me-downs, slips at the top of the stairs … and dies . But not for long. The Shadow of Death arrives to breathe life back into her bones and, for three nights only, Cinderella goes forth as ZOMBIERELLA. With her skin as cold as ice and her faithful horse Lumpkin back by her side, can she seek revenge on her three cruel, fake sisters, once and for all?

Crawl out of the grave and step into your mushroom carriage for this haunting and humorous adventure of the undead girl searching for her happily ever after.

Poetry

To celebrate 50 years since the first moon landing by Apollo 11 in 1969, here is an original collection of 50 poems. In his poems Dom tells us of two important things – the Moon is incredible: it controls our tides, to give us 24-hour days and it keeps our planet stable enough to have seasons. Dom reminds us that poetry too is incredible because it is the most flexible form of expressing ourselves and has been always how we used to tell stories, particularly about our ways of seeing this incredible Moon. The Moon is an inspiring rock of possibilities. Dom uses lots of poetry forms, short poems and long ones, silly ones and serious ones. There are haiku and sonnets, acrostics and shapes. He uses metaphors and kennings and slang. Dom says read the poems and fly to the moon!

Poetry

Tonight I fancy a flight,
so I shuffle my short feathers
and jump…

Take off on a night flight, have a monster’s lunch, listen to birdsong, shout out the Apatosaurus rap and check out Alexander Fleming’s petri dish. The read the note Cinderella left for her Ugly Sisters!

A spectacular debut collection from an exciting new poet who is also a brilliant performer of her work in schools and festivals.

Poetry

From Allie Esiri, editor of the bestselling A Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Poem for Every Night of the Year , comes this beautiful gift anthology of Shakespeare’s works.

William Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays, 154 sonnets and a handful of longer poems and you can discover them all here. Each page of this unique collection contains an extract, which might be a famous poem, quote or scene, matched to the date. Allie Esiri’s introductions give her readers a new window into the work, time and life of the greatest writer in the English language.

Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year is perfect for reading or sharing and brings you Shakespeare’s best-known and best-loved classics alongside lesser known extracts. Esiri’s entertaining and insightful thoughts on each entry will fill your year with wonder, laughter, wisdom and wit.

Poetry

Edward Lear was the greatest nonsensicalist of all time. He was the inventor of the limerick and created the Jumblies and The Owl and the Pussycat. This complete edition of Lear’s nonsense verse – including the limericks, longer verses, alphabets and his own illustrations – is lovingly restored and beautifully presented, for adults and children to enjoy together.

Poetry

The perfect gift for children aged 8+, this stunning classic collection of poetry will delight a new generation of readers of the Faber Children’s Classics list.

Peacock Pie contains the finest of Walter de la Mare’s poems for children, accompanied by exquisite original illustrations from Edward Ardizzone. This beautiful new edition of a classic anthology is an essential part of any child’s bookshelf.

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