Many thanks to the special staff at Brent Libraries who invited me for an author visit yesterday.
Thanks also to the Year Two children (St Paul’s Class from Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, and Rose Class from Harlesden Primary) who answered riddles, listened to stories, filled the libraries with laughter and ideas, and borrowed a lot of books…
To celebrate the publication of DON’T CALL ME CHOOCHIE POOH! today, here is the poem St Paul’s Class invented:
THE SILLY NAMES POEM
Don’t call me BIBBY BOBBY GOO GOO GUMBO!
Don’t call me MY LITTLE OOFAM BOOFAM!
Don’t call me ISSUM WISSUM SWEETIE TOES!
All those sound like names for babies.
Don’t call me TEENSY WEENSY CHICKABIDDY!
Don’t call me OOPSIE BOOPSIE HONEY BUNNY!
Don’t call me YICKLE PICKLE BOO BOO!
I’D RATHER JUST BE ME!
by Year Two St Paul’s at Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Primary, working with Sean Taylor, Wembley Library, 3rd February 2016.
Follow this link for a rhythm-and-fun-filled reading of my recent picture book, IT’S A GROOVY WORLD, ALFREDO! : http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbeebies/episode/b06z8xqr/cbeebies-bedtime-stories-520-pete-dalton-its-a-groovy-world-alfredo .
The book is dedicated to the big-hearted, political, performing poet, Adrian Mitchell.
My dedication reads:
In memory of Adrian Mitchell, 1932 – 2008.
He pulled music, unicorns, pirates and rockets
from his magical coat of umpteen pockets…
Adrian Mitchell helped me along my writing path. His help came from conversations I had with him (sadly, no longer possible.) And it came from examples he set in his own writing (very much still available and as fierce, funny and inspiring as ever…)
He is a poet remembered for the big-heartedness, the fierceness and the performing I have mentioned above. But I chose to dedicate IT’S A GROOVY WORLD, ALFREDO! to him because it’s a musical and a playful story.
Adrian Mitchell was the most musical of poets. He taught me that the rhythms and lyrics of songs can make words dance, even when there’s no actual music.
And he was playful, even when writing about things he took very seriously. Here’s an example which comes to mind – his words on the subject of bringing more poetry into school classrooms: “Make poetry something to look forward to. If you can’t get a poet, why not bring something else into the classroom? There aren’t enough animals in school – bring in a dog! Or puppies. Once the children have stopped playing with them they’ll want to write poems. Maybe the best thing to bring in would be a giraffe…”