This collection of short poems by award-winning UK poet Chrissie Gittins is a wonderful introduction to poetry for children, featuring poems about people, places and things they know and can relate to in a variety of formats and styles.
Grandma, Dad, hamsters, computers, noodles, the British Museum, cups of tea and all manner of other people, animals, places and things are shared in poems that are sometimes humorous and sometimes serious, but always capture a little slice of life.
The titles of some of the poems alone will be sufficient to draw most young readers in. How could you resist reading further when you see titles such as The Inside-Out Teacher, Going to be Late for School and The Pointlessness of Not Buying Your Own Strawberry Ice Cream?
For me, the final poem in the book, What Does Poetry Do?, sums up why it is so important to introduce children to poetry at a young age through books such as this. What does poetry do? ‘It nosedives... It crawls... It changes the colour of a room...’ and more. It offers snapshots of life for young minds to consider.
Quirky, interesting and fun, Stars in Jars is ideal not only as a classroom resource but as a poetry book to have on the bookshelf, and in the hands of young readers, at home.
Title: Stars in Jars: New and Collected Poems
Author: Chrissie Gittins
Illustrator: Calef Brown
Publisher: A&C Black Childrens & Educational, $15.99 RRP
Publication Date: March 2014
For ages: 7-11