CHILDREN'S POETRY

  • JAYNE’S COLOURFUL STORIES AND POEMS ON CBEEBIES RADIO!

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Children's TV, Education, Screenwriting

    Had to abandon several plans this summer because those lovely people at CBeebies Radio asked me to to write some stories and poems for them sharpish. Hopefully my friends, real and imaginary, didn’t feel too neglected and they, especially if they’re under six years old, will enjoy the results. You can hear them from today on the BBC iplayer radio app, just look for the Cbeebies bug! Then from next Monday 6th November you can download my story The Paintpots from the CBeebies website

    The following Monday your little ones will be able to hear all about a quite magnificent Sock Drawer!

    And in between listen out for poems about the sounds of colours – how do they sound to you?

    Developing and writing these was a blast and an education. Here are some of the key things I learnt during this project:
    – Yellow is an existential colour
    – D.H. Lawrence has a lot to answer for
    – Snail snot should never be underestimated

    None of these conclusions found their way into the CBeebies material, you’ll no doubt be happy to learn. Instead, your preschoolers will enjoy discovering, for example that:
    The colour yellow is a primary colour
    But it’s a great mixer and go between.
    If blue gets all flustered, yellow really cuts the mustard,
    Shouting, “Bananas in custard!
    Hey look: we’ve made green!”

  • #TCMC I HEART SHEFFIELD

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Animation, Books, Business Trips, Children's Media Campaign, Children's Poetry, Children's TV, Screenwriting, The Children's Media Foundation, travel

    By train and plane, taxi and car
    We’re travelling to Sheffield from Stroud and afar.
    Like migrating wilderbeasts, salmon and toads
    Although hopefully not eaten or squashed on the road.
    On pizzas and parties we’ll spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

    I’m producing, tomorrow, the Opening Sesh
    It’s a Question Time thing, in which we will flesh
    Out the bones of kids’ media policy and stuff
    And probably mention Brexit but without flimflam or guff
    On panellists (and poets) we spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

    I’m over excited, I’m sure you can tell
    Writers don’t get out much, oh you knew that as well.
    Jayne World has gone all sing song with rhyme
    But I’ll try to control it most of the time
    On potions to pacify me, spare no expense
    At the annual Children’s Media Conf’rence!

  • REMEMBERING

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Education

     

     

    As I watch the setting sun,

    I see the shadows getting long.

    Shadows are like memories of the day we’ve had.

    Some shadows happy, some are sad:

    The things we did, the people we met,

    The ice cream van, the girl at the vet.

     

    I’m very little and my shadow is short.

    Yesterday is far away

    And I don’t remember before today.

    But when I climb on Grandad’s knee,

    It’s funny how much more I see.

    Grandad’s long shadow shows all sorts of things:

    People and places,

    And long ago faces.

    He shows them to me in photos and books.

    And in the pictures I’m surprised to see

    Some of the children look like me!

    Grandmas and aunties on a trip to the zoo,

    And my grandad’s grandad, and his grandad too.

     

    Grandad can tell me about long ago;

    His friends, his toys and the things he did.

    But Grandad is old and forgets things today,

    Like his glasses and the things I say.

    So I help him find the things he forgets

    And he helps me meet the people he met.

    He shares them in the stories he tells.

    And when my shadow’s longer, I’ll share them as well.

     

    You can hear this as well as my short story Poppy’s Day read by Falklands War veteran Simon Weston at www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/radio

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  • WRITING FOR PROKOFIEV

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Children's TV, Education, Music

    You thought Prokofiev’s famous Dance of the Knights was all about Lord Sugar and his apprentices didn’t you?  No?  Men in ballet tights?  Or maybe if you’re a Star Trek fan, Romulans in ballet tights?

    Well before you start parading round singing “Romulans and Capulets” let me put you straight because no no no.  As the lovely people at CBeebies Radio, a lot of children under the age of 6, Robert the Robot and I all know,  this piece of music is, in fact, all about a grumpy marmalade cat and a teeny tiny mouse… in the rain.

    Did you see the CBeebies Prom on television on August 25th?  (still on BBC i-player)  Those lovely people have  an extra special treat for you to freely download at http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/prom/radio/cbeebies-prom-extra  Your little ones (and you) can do-si-do and round up imaginary cattle on  imaginary horses, thanks to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra’s special recording of Aaron Copland’s Hoedown before settling down to hear their recording of Prokofiev’s famous march and Robert The Robot’s beautiful telling of a story it inspired me to write; a thrilling tale of life and death excitement in the back garden: “Past the pond, round the rockery; round the rockery, past the pond.”

    Hear the cat “Slink and prow-wl,
    And pounce and grow-wl…” in the music.

    And can you hear the young mouse showing off?
    “I’m so fast,
    The orange thing
    With clawy paws
    Won’t catch me!…”

    While overhead a blackbird  cries in alarm “Run! Run! Run! Run!”

    Goodness I had fun writing this story.  I hope that you and your younglings have fun listening to it.

  • CBEEBIES RADIO: POPPY’S DAY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Education, Politics

    My short story Poppy’s Day is available as a free download from CBeebies Radio today and for the next seven days.  Read by Falklands War veteran, Simon Weston,  and beautifully produced by John Leagas, the story marks the centenary of the First World War and introduces little listeners to bravery and the importance of remembering.

    I’ve just read the BBC press release, which says “is as powerful as it is poignant, a reminder about how important it is to remember not just the events of history, but the people.”  So that’s me feeling smug for the rest of the day.

    Follow the link above and if you don’t see a big picture of some poppies to click on.  Click on ‘Get This Week’s Podcasts’ and then again on ‘Download Radio Podcast’ and then on ‘CBeebies:Poppy’s Day’.

  • CBEEBIES REMEMBERING THE WAR

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's Poetry, Education, Uncategorized

     

    I’m rather excited and very honoured today because my poem Remembering has been included in the BBC’s commemoration of the start of the first world war.  If you click on the link, you will hear it included in a wonderful podcast for children on this occasion.  My thanks to Falklands veteran Simon Weston for reading the poem and to Academy Award winning composer Steven Price for the music and to producer John Leagas.

    I hope that you enjoy it and if you have young children, that they will too.

  • GET READY FOR A FLOWERY METAPHOR

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Animation, Books, Children's Poetry, Children's TV, Prix Jeunesse, Uncategorized

    Because everything’s coming up lovely.  Having spent the autumn digging round for writing commissions and hard pruning some ideas and dreaming over seed catalogues, things started to happen.  But like all those dinky seeds, everything had to stay buried under non disclosure agreements.  All I could do was walk round with a warm smile, rather like a compost heap steaming on a frosty morning: definitely good things going on.

    Much is still to blossom but (Weren’t the flowers lovely this spring?) you should be able to see the first fruits later this month when CBeebies broadcast BING BUNNY.   Actually this was a series that I wrote for last year and I think my scripts were all locked before Christmas.  I’ve desperately wanted to talk about it because the show is so lovely.  It was initially described to me as a reality show for preschool.  And it is.  Using a beautifully animated black bunny rabbit and his friends and family, the episodes show real time moments from a child’s life: the fun, the wonder and the mess.  It’s brilliant.  It’s bouncy. It’s a BING thing.

    Back to my ‘gardenese’: I’m sure the series will blossom and grow in the hearts of its young audience and bear much fruit in their lives.  And also prove fruitful for the lovely people that I worked with at Acamar Films Ltd.

    As I said, much of what I’ve done this spring is still to blossom: still under a mulch of creative compost and non disclosure agreements.  Nevertheless, things are developing nicely: I’ve been working with broadcasters and independent producers on more preschool projects and grown up features, a major international conservation project and, and, and… poetry!  Can’t wait for the day I can show you those literary specimens: I’ll be as proud as a gold medal winner at Chelsea.  Blooming marvelous.

  • TODAY I GET TO SAY “MELLIFLUOUS” BECAUSE…

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Children's Media Campaign, Children's Poetry, Children's stories, Education, Politics

    I’ve just remembered a brilliant thing someone said last Saturday.  Rather fascinated by bees at the moment.  As is everyone apparently.  Hating to follow the herd, I can smugly say that I’m not interested in keeping them because it’s trendy – my big sister inherited a hive and I like being like her.

    Whatever, the lovely ancient apiarist in Stroud market, advised me to wait a few years “When there will be lots of second hand equipment for sale as the herd move on.  First it was chickens…” he said.

    Then he said something else, and this is why I am writing before I forget it and fill my silly head with other chattery nonsense.

    He said, “My primary school teacher taught me to keep bees.”

    “Oh,” I gushed, picturing an Edwardian lady filling her country diary with bee keeping notes and thinking ‘how quaint, he must have grown up with Laurie Lee’.

    The elderly bee keeper clearly knew I was filling my head with bucollocks (that’s rustic nonsense) so added,  “She taught me to read.”

    She taught me to read.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • A LITTLE KNOWN CHARACTER IN THE EASTER STORY…

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Books, Children's Poetry, Children's stories

    Once upon a seabed, there lived a sponge.   Giving a home to lots of tiny creatures, it felt happy and important wafting in the waters.  Then along came a net, which scooped it up and dumped it onto a boat with lots of wriggling fish.  Some big hairy hands had picked it out.  But instead of throwing it back into the sea, the big hairy hands left it on deck in the sun.  The boat sailed home and now the sponge was miles away from its home, snatched from its family and friends, all dried out and very grumpy.

    “I don’t deserve this! Why me?” thought the grumpy sponge.  “Thing’s can’t possibly get worse.”  He heard some sloshing and thought, “Ah good, at least I can soak up some water.”  But it wasn’t water:  he suddenly found himself dunked in vinegar!  Vinegar!  Somebody said it was wine but it tasted horrid. All the little houses where the tiny creatures had lived filled up and the sponge felt horribly tingly, like being stung by a thousand sea anemones, which he was once, when he’d made a rude remark about their tentacles.

    “I don’t deserve this! Why me?” hiccupped the grumpy sponge. “Things can’t possibly get worse.” But then they stuck him on a stick!  He’d once been poked by an inquisitive swordfish, and been very cross about it.   But at least the swordfish hadn’t hoiked him into the air and waved him about!  The sponge didn’t like air at the best of times.  Now he was swaying to and fro, this way and that, as he was raised higher and higher, dripping vinegar.

    “I don’t deserve this! Why me?” swooned the grumpy sponge. “Things can’t possibly get worse.”  But then he came face to face with a man nailed onto some bits of a tree.  This man had been snatched from his family and friends,  poked and pierced and now been hoiked into the air.

    The people below pushed the sponge up to the man’s lips for him to take a drink. The man’s face was full of pain and pressure, as if he’d been stung by a hundred thousand sea anemones, poked by all the swordfishes in the sea and had the weight of all the water in the world pressing down on him.  But the sponge saw that this man wasn’t angry or even grumpy, even though he was in agony.  In fact this man was full of love: love for the people that had snatched him away, or had laughed at him, even the ones that had hoiked him into the air.  Despite the pain and pressure, this man’s face was full of love for everyone.

    As the sponge was lowered, he didn’t feel grumpy anymore.  When he had touched this man’s lips, he’d been kissed by the greatest love in the world. “I don’t deserve this! Why me?”

    Happy Easter everyone.

  • ON SCRAMBLED PLANS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's Poetry, Uncategorized

    There’s a big boiled egg
    Sitting in the Quiet Carriage.
    And he’s loud and he’s rude
    And in a very bad mood;
    For this train is going to Bristol
    And he wants to go to Harwich.
    So he shouts and has a moan
    To his friend on his phone,
    And forgets he’s not alone,
    Sitting in the Quiet Carriage.
    “Shush and hush,”
    Whispers the friendly guard.
    But the boiled egg is hard
    And intimidates the guard.
    So politely we all make
    A stand, in the Quiet Carriage,
    Till he cracks and backtracks;
    ‘Cause he’s really soft and runny.
    And it’s very very funny
    When a big boiled egg
    Who wants to go to Harwich,
    Gets on the wrong train
    And sits in the quiet carriage.
    15.3.13