Video 1

This is the first of 4 videos I have recorded for my 'best of' poetry collection, Weird Wild & Wonderful (illustrated By Neal Layton,published by Otter-Barry Books). Please feel free to watch the other three, all of which feature readings of poems, and some music courtesy of Steve (my melodica) and Erik (the disco ukulele).

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This is a reading of my picture book Once Upon A Star, illustrated by Mar Hernandez. (Little Tiger Press).

Track 1: Electric Guitars

Listen to Electric Guitars

This is one of my favourite poems. I wrote it way back in 1998. Iit just came to me as I was driving to work. I had to keep stopping the car to write the words down. This version was great fun to record in the studio - and was produced/engineered by my magician of a musician friend the composer Mark Hawkins, who gave me such a great sound. Cheers, Mark!

From Cars Stars Electric Guitars (Walker Books)
Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd

Track 2: Words

Listen to Words

This is one of my more serious poems. I write a lot of poems about words as they fascinate me. We often take language for granted – for words are everywhere – we say them, hear them, read them, write them – but words are very special – so magical and musical – and can do such powerful things. As a poet, you have so few words in a poem, and the words you do use have to be just right. That’s why it takes me three months+ to write each poem!

From Time-Travelling Underpants book and audio CD (Macmillan)

Track 3: Bug Hug

Listen to Bug Hug

I also love writing completely daft stuff, like this poem!! I’ve written many poems about bugs and insects, and in a way, they’re inspired by my children. When we’re out for walks we’ll often hunt for bugs – like grasshoppers, dragonflies and ladybirds. This is one poem I always perform with Infant classes, and with actions. Why not join in and make up your own actions?

From Hey, Little Bug! (Hands Up Books) and Time-Travelling Underpants audio CD (Macmillan)

Track 4: Learn How To Play Air Guitar

Listen to Learn How To Play Air Guitar

Another very silly poem. When I recorded this poem in the studio I couldn’t stop giggling! I recorded the voice and all the guitar bits at separate times. really am mad about guitars – I’ve been playing myself for over 30 years now! – and in all my books I like to get in a reference to guitars somewhere. Please do join with your very own air guitar!

From Time–Travelling Underpants book and audio CD (Macmillan)

Track 5: Instrumental

Listen to the instrumental track

I originally wrote this as an Eric Satie–style piano piece, but this version, recorded especially for the book, became a more atmospheric soundscape. I often use this piece in workshops in schools and during INSET sessions to inspire creative writing. I’ve heard a great many wonderful poems written by children (and teachers!) to this piece of music. Why not get pen and paper and try writing non–stop as the track plays. It doesn’t matter if it’s a poem, story, a memory, just keep writing without stopping. Then play the track again and write some more. Have fun!

From Just Imagine book and CD (Routledge)

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