Ripon Razzle

I visited the admirable Holy Trinity C of E Junior School in Ripon yesterday to present a day of performance poetry. What a lot of fun we had, learning ‘Cheeky Pete’, making sound effects, doing actions, calling out rhymes and more. I especially enjoyed watching the Y5 and Y6 classes performing some of my own poems from Razzle Dazzle – the star was Albertus but everyone who stood up did well. I just wish we’d had time to do more!

The visit showed that children love poetry and are brilliant at learning rhymes, picking up rhythms and, well, just enjoying the fun that we can have playing with language. It was also great to see how many of the children are enthusiastic readers too – well done, kids!

There was a very funny moment when I was talking about my book The Real Me, which is aimed at girls and was written under the pseudonym Amy Simon. I often tell the curious tale of how I came to write a book for girls (I certainly didn’t intend to!) and how the invented name Amy Simon came about. Children and teachers always find it fascinating, not least as some of them have no idea that many books don’t have the real name of the author on the cover. I asked the question, ‘Is there a way to tell that I really wrote this book?’ and someone came up with the hilarious answer, ‘There’s a photo of you inside the cover.’ On reflection, I think that it would be fairly shocking for readers of Amy Simon to turn the page and find a bearded man…

Anyway, thanks to Mrs Green for organising the day and I hope that the teachers enjoy the copy of All Teachers Great and Small I donated to their staffroom library.

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