Welcome to my website. Here you will be able to find new poems, videos of me performing poems and various bits of news, articles I write for newspapers and magazines, interviews with me, reviews of things that I've been doing, lists of things I've done in the past and so on.
Since December 2011, I've also been writing a blog where you can catch my latest thoughts, ideas, and articles:
I've been appointed Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London in order to help run a new MA in Children's Literature starting in September 2014. If you are interested in finding out more about this course, please contact Goldsmiths.
For people wanting a complete list of my books up to the end of 2015, I have compiled my own comprehensive bibliography.
Here's a list of new books that will be published over the next six months:
Laugh Out Loud Joke Book (Scholastic) - September 1, 2016
[It is what it says it is: a joke book]
Who Are Refugees and Migrants?
Co-written with Annemarie Young (Wayland) - September 22, 2016
[a non-fiction book for schools]
Jelly Boots Smelly Boots (Bloomsbury) - September 22, 2016
[a new book of poems for children, illustrated by David Tazzyman]
What is Poetry? (Walker) - October 6, 2016
[a book about how to write poems for children, parents and teachers]
Zola in Norwood (Faber) - January 15, 2017
[a book for adults about Emile Zola in England and his last couple of years in France]
Barking at Bagels (Andersen) - February 2, 2017
[a short ‘chapter book’ for early readers, illustrated by Tony Ross]
Uncle Gobb and the Green Heads (Bloomsbury) - February 9, 2017
[a sequel to Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed, illustrated by Neal Layton]
Updated 6th May 2016
This is a VR film of Mo from A Great Big Cuddle. On a computer you can scroll around with your mouse. On a phone you can move around using the handset to look around, or you can watch it on a VR headset and have look around.
Video directed by Joe Rosen.
You can read more News stories here.
You can also visit the For Adults section for News aimed at adults.
Click here for more information about me and my work, including articles by and about me, a full biography, resources for teachers, news, videos and podcasts for adults and more.
The best thing you can do with poetry is just enjoy reading it together with the children. That has to be the starting point - not all that nonsense about quizzing them about adjectives and metaphors. So first thing: set up situations in which it feels good to read aloud together, read in groups, read silently. This could involve eg you putting poems up on the wall, without saying why! Just bung'em up and leave them there.
Just before play or going-home time, you could gather them on the carpet and say, 'hey listen to this' and read them a poem. No questions asked. Just read it. Read more...
So, while I think of it, which old Duke is fond of eating meat?
The Grand Old Duke of Pork.
Can you think of any words that have in it, three letters, one after the other, in exactly the same order as they appear in the alphabet?
Here's a clue to help you find two: This is something that you should definitely be able to work out. It’s not stupendously difficult...
This is the poem I wrote, Words Are Ours, for the National Year of Reading.
Another new poem - Hand on the Bridge.
This poem, These Are the Hands, was written to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service. Click here to see a video of the poem.
For people looking for my poem about ‘Rhythm’ or ‘The Rhythm of Life’ it’s here on this site, called 'Hand on the Bridge'.
Year Six of Cleobury Mortimer Primary School in Shropshire interviewed me recently and here are my answers.
Here's a BBC quiz on me from the BBC’s Go4it website.
See me perform Bear Hunt.
Want to see your poems, short stories or questions here on this site? Go to the Your Corner section and send them into me.