Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: Magical Poems chosen by Paul Cookson

Please remember this: a spooky book isn’t just for Halloween. They need love all year long, but it is OK to give them a bit more attention when the ghosts and ghouls come out to play each October.

Paul Cookson has collected some amazing examples of poems that will have the kids lapping up the prose. The contents page reads like a who’s who of the children’s poetry world and as such each page entertains. Lewis Caroll, Benjamin Zephaniah, Valerie Bloom and Brian Moses are just a small selection of the names present.

I adore the design. The bright orange cover and style gives off a vibe of a book, ancient but pretending to be new, that could tumble from a dusty shelf in an abandoned house onto the lap of an unsuspecting child. That ‘newness’ comes in the form of the great illustrations by Eilidh Muldoon – I mean look at this version of MacBeth!

Now for the teacher bit. The array of poets used is simply brilliant! When using poetry in the class, it is ideal if you can provide the children with contrasting styles, so with classics by Lord Tennyson and Shakespeare lining up alongside the new, lovely work of the likes of A.F. Harrold and Joshua Seigal it is very helpful indeed. Needless to say, as a teacher you NEED to share poetry as much as you can. It is short and quick to read and kids love – winner all round.

A creepy cracker – enjoy!

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