Int Children’s Book Day and NaPoWriMo!

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Today (April 2) is International Children’s Book Day, a day in which to inspire children about books, celebrate the authors who write for them and remember the books you enjoyed reading as a child. Personally, I can’t bear to imagine what a childhood might be like without books – being able to escape into the pages of an adventure story or travel to magical far-away places is surely a luxury everyone should have growing up

Enid Blyton was of course, my bread-and-butter author as a child and I would probably have to claim ‘The Enchanted Wood’ as my favourite story (the age-stained, crinkled little paperback at home is barely holding itself together after years of attention!), along with pretty much everything else she ever wrote. All of these are still popular today and I know, from working in Waterstones from time-to-time, that the Famous Five, the Wishing Chair series and the Secret Seven continue to hook young imaginations.

Referring to yourself as a child probably stops, in reality, just before you go to ‘big school’, but even trying to remember all the books I read up until then is difficult as the library was frequented often! Some favourites however, included ‘The Hundred and One Dalmations’ by Dodie Smith, ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ / ‘Just Nuffin’ by Colin Dann, the Malory Towers and St Clare’s series by Enid Blyton (making us all want to go to boarding school, admit it!) and the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series by Carolyn Keene and Franklin W Dixon to name but a few! My little three year-old nephew currently loves ‘Room on the Broom’, Peppa Pig and the like, but we’ll give him his induction just as soon as he’s of age!

Meanwhile… the month of April is NaPoWriMo (aka National Poetry Writing Month) – a celebration of poetry which challenges participants to write a poem every day for, er, 30 days. In an act of spontaneity this Easter Tuesday morning (when all except my office still seem to be on holidays) I appear to have signed myself up! So, er – watch this space.

The NaPoWriMo team helpfully provide a prompt every day to inspire us all and today’s suggestion is to write a poem using the first line of another poem. I’ve chosen one of the lines suggested on the NaPoWriMo website by Walter de la Mare, who coincidentally, also happens to have been a renowned children’s novelist.

The line: ‘Slowly, silently, now the moon’

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My poem: Moon Magic

Slowly, silently, now the moon

awakes with muted, magic light

secrets which stir only at night 

to play their mysterious tune.

Silver-tipped flight, elegant, swift

over depths, a mirror-like mask

enshrouding dark shapes as they bask

enchanting and always adrift.

Miniature swords poke proudly up

from moon-drenched jewels of sand and soil

the prints of paws the signs of toil

as beasts and birds their prey do cup.

Slowly, silently, now the moon

begins to soften in her glow

the dance of night begins to slow

secrets tucked up – and not too soon.

 

[pic by Gregory H. Revera]

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