Author: Lorraine Marwood
Publisher: Walker Books
Comments: Teacher friends, this is a must-have for your classroom. If you are looking to incorporate poetry throughout the school year, you will reach for this book time and time again. Poems about over 70 different celebrations are included in this collection… Australia Day and ANZAC day, babies and birthdays, families and feast days, and all those ‘other’ days we celebrate. (Yes, even Talk Like A Pirate Day!)
The culturally inclusive collection includes Lent, Easter and Christmas alongside Diwali, Hannukah, Ramadan and Chinese New Year. NAIDOC week is of course included (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Observation Week), as are poems for Harmony Day, United Nations Day and Human Rights Day.
It must be said that this is a serious book of poetry for children. If you are looking for sing-song rhymes you won’t find them here. However, if you are after high quality, accessible Australian poetry suitable for classroom use, you can’t go past Lorraine Marwood’s work. As she says in the poem for World Poetry Day:
What is a poem?
It’s a snatch of time
stilled, distilled, enriched…
Stand out poems for me include this World Poetry Day poem (which finishes even more beautifully than it starts), as well as the Hot Cross Buns poem for Good Friday, and the stirring Human Rights Day poem.
Teacher Tip: This book will be useful across many grades, especially in the middle to upper primary years (Years 3-6). While there are many Australian Curriculum: English outcomes that will be relevant, look particularly at the Literature strand, and the outcomes pertaining to Literature and Context, and also Examining Literature.
*I received a review copy of Celebrating Australia: A Year in Poetry courtesy of Walker Books. No payment was received for review and all comments are based on my own professional opinion.