About Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins' poetry for children is rich and varied in both form and subject; her three collections are bursting with everything from limericks to list poems, shape-poems to songs, and manage to be silly, scary, funny, sad and exciting all at the same time, often within the same poem.

The poems play with language, exploring the way we speak and shout, sing and write, and how the world all around is translated through words. She invokes the magic of new and unknown words by repeating them or listing them to a rhythm; 'main mast, mizzen mast, fore mast, shot lockers, bowsprit, gripe'.

She uses call-and-response to ask unusual questions; 'When is a boy not a boy? When he’s a plank of wood'. These surreal observations are often approached through double-meanings, special words and images to create and enrich a world in which – 'the stars wear sparkly socks', a solar-power fairy skims over our gardens as we lie asleep, and spent time is stored in lost property at Euston and Paddington. She is a writer who truly understands the inner world of a child’s imagination, replete with secret friends, talismans and the special hideaways and magical places of childhood – the tent made under the bedclothes with a torch, the hiding-place in the supermarket, the garage – and she knows how to speak to this world through her poems.

Chrissie Gittins has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes for her short fiction and poetry, both for adults and children, and her work has appeared on television and the radio. Both her first and second collections for children, Now You See Me, Now You... and I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle were shortlisted for a CLPE Poetry Award (in 2003 and 2007 respectively), and were both selected as a Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf (2006 and 2010), an accolade also awarded to her third collection for children published in 2010, The Humpback’s Wail.

Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and lives in London.

Selected bibliography

Michael Rosen's A-Z, Puffin, 2009

I'll Dress One Night as You, Salt, 2009

Family Connections, Salt, 2007

Armature, Arc Publications, 2003

The Humpback's Wail, Rabbit Hole Publications, 2010

I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle, Rabbit Hole...

Now You See Me, Now You..., Rabbit Hole Publications,...

Prizes

2010 Poetry Book Society Choice Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshop, for The Humpback's Wail, 2010

2009 Arts Council Writers' Award 2009 Arts Council Writers' Award

2007 CLPE Award (shortlisted) 2007 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

2007 Authors Foundation Award 2007 Authors Foundation Award

2006 Poetry Book Society Choice 2006 Poetry Book Society Choice for the Children's Poetry Bookshelf, for I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

2005 Arts Council Writers Award 2005 Arts Council Writers Award

2003 CLPE Award (shortlisted) 2003 CLPE Award (shortlisted) for Now You See Me, Now You...

2002 Belmont Poetry Prize (for individual children's poems) 2002 Belmont Poetry Prize (for individual children's poems) for 'The Powder Monkey'

2002 Royal Literary Fund Award 2002 Royal Literary Fund Award

2001 Society of Authors Award 2001 Society of Authors Award

Recordings

Chrissie Gittins

Chrissie Gittins Downloads

1High-Chair

£0.89

2Sam, Sam, Quite Contrary

£0.89

3The Tale of Dotty Cuddletum

£0.89

4The Well-Travelled Tortoise

£0.89

5Now You See Me, Now You...

£0.89

6Death in the Poetry Library

£0.89

7The Noodle-Eater

£0.89

8Harry the Hamster

£0.89

9The Powder Monkey

£0.89

10I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle

£0.89

11When is a boy not a boy?

£0.89

12River Torridge

£0.89

13Three

£0.89

14The Night Flight of the Pterodactyl

£0.89

15The Solar-Powered Fairy

£0.89

16Tin Lid

£0.89

17World Secrets

£0.89

18Limpet

£0.89

19A Memory of Snow

£0.89

20The Pencil Stub

£0.89

21Storing Time

£0.89

22The Humpback's Wail

£0.89

23Summer Pudding

£0.89

24The Best Hiding Place in the World

£0.89

25My Friend Bob

£0.89

26Night Sky in the Clun Valley

£0.89

27The Return of the Wild Man of Orford

£0.89

28Dawn Meets the Queen

£0.89

29I Can't Fix Everything

£0.89

30The Fragrant Pirate

£0.89

31Iris Upsidaisy

£0.89

32My Dad's More Embarrassing Than Your Dad

£0.89

33Wasp on the Tube

£0.89

34The 'I'm Not Tired' Dance

£0.89

35Lou's Pyjama Uniform

£0.89

36What Does Poetry Do?

£0.89

37Government Health Warning

£0.89

Books by Chrissie Gittins