You can’t take worms on holiday,
They’re not inclined to travel.
Even Mr Woolly Worm
Declares he might unravel.
And as you head through Customs
They might search through your cases
And confiscate your earthworm
On a ‘foreign soil’ basis.
It’s best to leave your worms behind
With homely soil to sift
And, as you do for special friends,
Bring home a lovely gift.
poem © Celia Warren 2015
This is a new worm poem, so it doesn’t appear in Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles but you will find lots more squirmy poems in its pages.
I wonder if you can guess what gift I brought home for Woolly Worm, and where I’ve been on holiday?
What a fun time we had in Plymouth yesterday at the City Museum and Art Gallery! Were you there? If so, do you remember this poem? Snails may be slow, but this poem’s quick to learn:
You can find this poem and lots more poems about creatures great and small in the RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poems. It’s a book for keeps aimed at families who love birds, animals, art and poetry. Check it out!
“(a) vast British repertoire of nature poetry that will appeal both to young children and to poetry-reading adults alike” – Mark Cocker, Birdwatch
Looking forward to seeing you again at future events!
…100? How many books do you think I’ve written? Well, I’d lost count, so today I heaved out a big box from under the bed, gently tipped out my books and counted the titles, just out of curiosity. Would you believe it? I’ve written ONE HUNDRED AND TEN BOOKS – plus a further few titles that I’ve co-authored with other writers! Well, I was flabbergasted! A few of my books have only been published in the USA; a few others, only in Hong Kong. A further few titles have been translated into French, with different titles. So Poles Apart, for example, a story about a walrus from the north pole who meets a penguin from the south pole, is called Aux Antipodes in the French version. What fun!
If I’d lost count of the number of books I’ve written, how much more have I lost count of the number of poems? They are countless indeed! But in wishing all readers a very Happy New Year, I thought I’d share my newest poem – the first of 2015. It all began with a drawing I doodled on my tablet … then followed the words. I hope you’ll enjoy these ANT-ics!
Ants in the Fruit Bowl
Ants in the fruit bowl,
Looking for a ride,
Find a ripe banana
Makes a super slide;
Spot a lot of oranges:
Climb up on top –
Once they are spinning,
Will they ever, ever stop?
Ants in the fruit bowl,
Playing keeps them busy,
But when they try to march away
They’re all extremely dizzy.
By the time it’s bedtime,
Every ant’s asleep,
Dreaming dreams of fruit bowls
And memories to keep.
© Celia Warren 2015
If you’d like to hear more poems and stories that I’ve written about minibeasts, come to Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery on the afternoon of Saturday, 31st January, where I’ll be joining a day of minibeasts fun! You will also have the chance to buy a SIGNED COPY of my newest book of poems DON’T POKE A WORM TILL IT WRIGGLES.
The sniffer dogs have caught a whiff of Santa,
A mix, perhaps, of reindeer dung and spice,
Diluted by a cold and watery odour,
A snowy smell, like slowly melting ice.
The thing they’re most concerned about is whether
The old man has some presents fit for dogs:
Biscuits, bones and other tasty morsels;
At the very least, some chewy yuletide logs.
But Santa pats their heads and sends them packing.
“Ho ho ho,” he says, “you know the golden rule:
I shan’t come down your chimney till you’re sleeping -
It’s the same for dogs as any boy or girl.”
The sniffer dogs lick Santa’s hand, tails wagging,
As with one sad backward glance they set off home.
On Christmas Day they won’t be disappointed:
They’ll each wake to find a brand new juicy bone.
© Celia Warren 2014
Hope you have a lovely Christmas. See you in the New Year!
Every day we are one day closer to Christmas. Are you getting excited?
Today I have written a little verse that is more of a puzzle than a poem. Each line gives a clue to one letter of a word that is the answer to a puzzle. In the first line of this seasonal riddle, you will find a choice of two letters. You will discover which of the two letters to choose as you solve further clues. If you have solved such riddles before, move straight on to my Christmas Riddle. If not, I’ll give you an example of how to solve them.
EXAMPLE 1 (where the puzzle letter appears in two words):
My first is in apple and also in tree.
The only letter that appears in both applE and trEE is the letter E, so the answer to the riddle word will begin (my first) with an E.
EXAMPLE 2 (where you can eliminate letters that appear in both words):
My fifth is in now but never in when.
I can rule out the letters N and W as they both appear in NoW and in WheN. So the fifth letter of the riddle word must be O.
Do you get the idea?
Grab a pencil and paper to note down the riddle’s letters – or letter choices – and work out the answer. The verse’s last two lines will give you an extra clue to the whole answer.
My first is in Santa but never in Claus,
My second’s in uncle and also in yours,
My third is in robin and also in thrush,
My fourth is in skip but never in push,
My fifth is in eat and also in pie,
My sixth is in yule and also in eye.
My whole is quite often a part of a feast,
Carved up at Christmas – a two-legged beast.
© Celia Warren 2014
Did you find the answer?
If you enjoyed solving this riddle you can find more – PLUS lots of other kinds of word puzzles – in my Schofield and Sims book called Word Puzzles isbn 978 0 7217 11171
People sometimes ask me, “What is your favourite poem?” My answer depends on the meaning of the question – my favourite of other poets’ poems is The Donkey by G K Chesterton; my favourite of my own poems is often the one I’ve most recently written, but Pelican is one of them. My head is often full of what I’m writing NOW rather than what I wrote some weeks, months or years ago. So it takes me by surprise when suddenly I meet a book or a poem that I wrote and had forgotten about.
G K Chesterton wasn’t just a poet. He also wrote some fabulous stories and novels. I, too, write stories but mine are nothing like his. Mine are much shorter and are for young children. Imagine my delight when my niece told me that her daughter – my great-niece – who started school two months ago, had brought home her reading book – and it was one that I’d written! Here it is (above) in Pearson’s Rigby Rocket series of early readers.
And here (below) is my great-niece enjoying some poems from my new book, Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles. It’s published by Bloomsbury and would make a great stocking-filler, so it’s a good one to put on your Christmas list, if you write one! The poems are in all sorts of styles about all sorts of worms. Three of my favourites are both poems AND stories: they’re narrative or ‘story poems’. They all feature two worm friends called Slightly Soiled and Humble Worm. Each of these three poems tells one of these characters’ adventures. See if you can spot them in the book, tucked in among other wormy poems.
When I’m not writing poems, stories, or story poems, I write books for teachers to use in schools. So, teachers, did you know that I have extended my top-selling series of Comprehension Books? Published by Schofield and Sims, there are now two new pupil books and one new teacher’s book for top level Key Stage One. They are a great introduction to reading for understanding and extending the genres of reading to interest, stimulate and entertain young readers.
Talking of favourites, one of my favourite poetry books when I was little was Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. I pored over the illustrations as much as loving the words. They were line drawings by Eve Garnet. Later, when I was grown up, I bought a second copy of the book. Although I still loved the little paperback from my childhood, I also loved the rich, colourful illustrations in my new hardback, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith.
If you love art and illustrations as much as words, you’d love The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poetry. It is illustrated on every page – and half of these are in full colour – by the best wildlife artists in the UK: members of the Royal Society of Wildlife Artists. It would make a very, very special present for readers of any age, or for the whole family.