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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.
Michael Rosen's A-Z, Puffin, 2009
I'll Dress One Night as You, Salt, 2009
Family Connections, Salt, 2007
Armature, Arc Publications, 2003
Chrissie Gittins Reading from Her Poems, The Poetry...
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,...
Chrissie Gittins Reading from Her Poems
2Sam, Sam, Quite Contrary
3The Tale of Dotty Cuddletum
4The Well-Travelled Tortoise
5Now You See Me, Now You...
6Death in the Poetry Library
8Harry the Hamster
9The Powder Monkey
10I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle
11When is a boy not a boy?
14The Night Flight of the Pterodactyl
15The Solar-Powered Fairy
19A Memory of Snow
20The Pencil Stub
22The Humpback's Wail
24The Best Hiding Place in the World
25My Friend Bob
26Night Sky in the Clun Valley
27The Return of the Wild Man of Orford
28Dawn Meets the Queen
29I Can't Fix Everything
30The Fragrant Pirate
32My Dad's More Embarrassing Than Your Dad
33Wasp on the Tube
34The 'I'm Not Tired' Dance
35Lou's Pyjama Uniform
36What Does Poetry Do?
37Government Health Warning
When choosing poems for my tour, I had just one criterion in mind: that each poem must allow me to comment on the...