Reason and rhyme - Fred Sedgwick on a poetry treat

8th June 2007 at 01:00
The Hat. By Carol Ann Duffy, with illustrations by David Whittle. Faber. Pounds 9.99. Nine-plus

The biggest successes in Carol Ann Duffy's superb new collection - "Mrs Hamilton's Register" and "Rooty Tooty", for example - have wit and playfulness, but unlike many poems written for children, they are energised by intense feeling and a sure technique that allows Duffy to take risks.

"Rooty Tooty" is about Grandad, who was once a rock star, and how he fell in love with Gran while she was "dancing under a glitterball".

"Mrs Hamilton's Register" plays beautifully on the meanings of girls'

names. Other poems are stranger and yet still accessible for children in the upper years of primary school and above.

Carol Ann Duffy never talks down to children. These are simply excellent pieces for anyone who loves poetry. This collection should be in every school library

Fred Sedgwick is the author of 100 Ideas for Primary Assemblies (Continuum)

Carol Ann Duffy's favourite school trip: page 46

See www.clpe.co.uk for this year's top primary poetry books

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