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Andrew Fusek Peters - Children's Poems

(b. 1965)

"Funny and thought-provoking poems.  A stunning combination!" - Viv Beeby, Poetry Please

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Recordings

These poems come from a special recording for the Poetry Archive:

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Extras

Select bibliography

  • The Barefoot Book of Strange and Spooky Stories, Barefoot Books 1997
  • When I Come to the Dark Country, Abbotsford Publishing 1997
  • The Upside-Down Frown, Hodder 1999 - out of print
  • Sheep Don't Go To School, Bloodaxe 1999
    Buy
  • Poems with Attitude, Hodder 2000
  • Poems about Seasons, Hodder 2000
  • The Unidentified Frying Omelette: an anthology of form poems, Hodder 2000
  • Out of Order (editor), Evans 2001
  • Sadderday and Funday, Hodder 2001 - out of print
  • Plays with Attitude, Hodder 2001
  • Dragon and Mousie, Ylolfa 2002
  • Hubble Bubble (editor), Hodder 2003
  • Ed and the Witchblood (graphic novel), Hodder 2003
  • Monkey's Clever Tale, Childsplay 2003
  • Crash: A Verse Novel, Hodder 2004
    Buy
  • Ed & The River of the Damned (graphic novel), Hodder 2004
  • Love, Hate & My Best Mate (editor), Hodder 2004
  • The Dog Ate My Bus Pass (with Nick Toczek), Macmillan 2004
    Buy
  • Tiger and the Unwise Man, Childsplay 2004
  • Here's a Little Poem (co-editor with Jane Yolen), Walker Books 2006
    Buy
  • Andrew Fusek Peters Reading from his Poems, The Poetry Archive 2006
    Buy
  • Mad, Bad and Dangerously Haddock: the best of Andrew Fusek Peters, Lion Books, 2006
    Buy
  • Spies Unlimited, Oxford University Press 2006
  • Ghosts Unlimited, Oxford University Press 2006
    Buy
  • Poems with Attitude - Uncensored, Wayland, 2008
    Buy
  • Here's a Little Poem, Walker, 2010
    Buy
  • Switching on the Moon, Walker, 2010
    Buy
  • Water (The Elements in Poetry, Evans Brothers Ltd, 2009
    Buy
  • Leaves are Like Traffic Lights, Salt, 2011
    Buy
  • Ravenwood, Chicken House, 2011
    Buy
Andrew Fusek Peters (b. 1965), the tallest poet in the UK, has written more than 45 books for children, two of them nominated for the Carnegie Medal. His anthology Sheep Don't Go To School has been chosen to be on the National Curriculum, and his choice of the best of his poems, Mad, Bad and Dangerously Haddock, is published by Lion in 2006. He has visited hundreds of schools over the past twenty years, often with his didgeridoo, and always with what the Radio Times called "wonderful poems!"

His reading starts close to home, with poems about family and pets, and moves out into the world, to nature, to school, and as far as the stars in 'Tide and Seek' that "play / Hide and seek with the Milky Way." Some are silly - there's the nonsensical 'Poem for the Verbally Confused' or the mischievous misunderstandings of 'Hey Diddle Diddle' - and some are very serious, like 'The River of Tears', written for the poet's dead brother. There are love poems, like 'The Passionate Pupil Declaring Love', and, although 'Love Poem to Kevin (He'd Better Get the Message)' sounds like another love poem, the message in the title is actually that "I'd rather snog a Yeti!".

Peters is a poet who likes to use rhyme and bouncy rhythms, so that a poem like 'Dad', with its riddling descriptions of a father, comes as close to a song as a poem can without becoming one. Others have less insistent forms, including a touching memory of his grandmother in free verse ('Morning') and a description of a rainstorm as if given by a racing commentator ('Use Your Rains'). He ends the reading with a tour-de-force performance of 'Rush Hour Rhythm', giving the poem the same crush that a rush hour has by managing to hurtle along without seeming to need to breathe as the words try to crush themselves into the poem.

Peters is a practised performer, having been a presenter of the BBC1 poetry series Wham Bam Strawberry Jam, and knows how to fit the best performance to each poem - so much so that the poem 'Mum', a companion piece to 'Dad', is read by his wife and frequent co-author, Polly Peters. When he visited the Edinburgh Festival, the Scotsman wrote that "with easy, non-patronising rapport, [he] entranced children… Pure entertainment!" It's easy, listening to this CD, to feel the same enchantment.

His recording was made on 10 January 2006 at the Audio Workshop, London, and was produced by Richard Carrington.

Prizes

2005 Carnegie Medal nomination Crash
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