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Can you recommend a good book of poems that we can share as a family? Our children are six, nine and twelve and enjoy listening and joining in with rhymes

There are some lovely anthologies available at the moment, many of which provide a mixture of traditional rhymes, classic poems and the work of modern poets. There are poems for all the family to enjoy. Grans and grandpas will probably find something they had to learn as a child, such as The Listeners by Walter de la Mare or Wordsworth’s Daffodils. The children will love hearing about their school days and could repay them by reading some more recently published verses. Whatever happens, make sure that everyone gets a turn to choose, so the sharing of poetry is engaging for all the family. The following books are ones that I have found are enjoyed by readers of all ages:

  • Under the Moon and Over the Sea edited by John Agard and Grace Nichols (Walker)
  • The School Bag by Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes (Faber & Faber)
  • Ink-Slinger edited by Morag Styles and Helen Cook (A&C Black)
  • The Puffin Book of Utterly Brilliant Poetry edited by Brian Patten (Puffin)
  • I Like This Poem edited by Kaye Webb (Puffin)
  • Poetry by heart: a child’s book of poems to remember edited by Liz Attenborough (The Chicken House)
  • Because a Fire was in my Head edited by Michael Morpurgo (Faber & Faber)
  • Michael Rosen’s A-Z:  The best children’s poetry from Agard to Zephaniah by Michael Rosen (Puffin)