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I get fed up with some of the so-called poetry my children bring home from school. Every book seems to be about being sick, toilets or underpants. Can you recommend some really good titles on different subjects for primary school pupils?

I sympathise with your concerns. Although it could be argued by some that it is a matter of taste, it is unfortunate if children only experience poetry on themes solely related to messy bodily functions! There is a place for some subversive rhymes but, it seems to me that their power to subvert is rather wasted if adults don’t disapprove of them. Have a look at the following suggestions of books which I hope you may find more satisfying both in content and style. In the majority of these collections there are some light-hearted poems and some that are more thoughtful, but they all have something worth saying.

  • Plum by Tony Mitton, illustrated by Peter Bailey (Scholastic)
  • Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg (Puffin)
  • All the Best: Selected Poems by Roger McGough (Puffin)
  • New and Collected Poems for Children by Carol Ann Duffy (Faber Children’s Books)
  • Cars, Stars, Electric Guitars by James Carter (Walker Books)
  • Centrally Heated Knickers by Michael Rosen (Puffin)
  • Off Road to Everywhere by Philip Gross (Salt)
  • A Shame to Miss (Books 1, 2 & 3) by Anne Fine (Corgi Children’s Books)
  • Two’s Company by Jackie Kay (Puffin)
  • The World is Sweet by Valerie Bloom (Bloomsbury)
  • Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin)