- Published 08 Oct 2013
A Challenge for Children's Day & Halloween!
If you would like a copy of the poster on the left, you can download it now from the Limey Downloads page or by clicking here.
Write a poem, rhyme/limerick, or 100 word story about the wonders of reading books, books and children, why books are better than gadgets, or simply, why you love books.
I will publish the top 10 shortlisted ditties on LimeyLimericks and they will each receive a copy of my scary story: Mayan Cocoa, A Halloween Tale plus an illustrated book of limericks: Animal Tails.
So, get writing!!
The challenge is open to all children, from Singapore National Children's Day, 4th October 2013, to 30th October 2013 (the day before Halloween).
Please send your entries to: writing at limeylimericks dot com
Remember to include your name, email, age and your entry.
And just to get you started, here is the poem (again), about why books are better than gadgets:
Nothing quite like a book
There is nothing quite like a book,
Turn a page, peek, take a look.
Pick it up, turn over a leaf,
Wonders inside, beyond belief!
Tucks in your pocket, really neat,
No need for a battery or heat.
Pull it out on the bus or train,
A companion come wind or rain.
No brilliant, bright backlight,
To prevent from sleep at night.
A real page to fold and uncurl,
No tap, no swipe to unfurl.
Each one has a magical cover,
On a shelf, a faithful lover.
Daring to touch, feel the page,
Falling in love, it will amaze.
Fantastic stories inside abound,
Wondrous pictures waiting to be found,
In your hand hold a work of art,
That flowed out of someone's heart.
Children's books are always the best,
A pocket sized treasure chest,
Brimming over with squeals and delight,
And the odd tale to give you a fright,
Imagination fills the air,
Oh please read your book, just give it a try,
Don't let a good story simply slip you by.
You'll be surprised, you'll laugh and smile,
Take time to sit, and read awhile.
© Sarah Froggatt 2013
International Children's Day takes place every year on 1st June. It is set out by the World Conference for the Well-Being of Children in Geneva. This International Day is celebrated in the Uk.
Universal Children's Day, on 20th November. This is the day that the United Nations, in 1989 adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Published 05 Oct 2013
I have already created a few links to a blog I have started with my son, Max: A Rhyme A Day. It is to encourage him to write, play with words and to enjoy poetry. We have started off with limericks, as this is what he has started with at school. Limericks are verses of five lines, normally humorous. The last line always rhymes with the first. They are also a wonderful way to introduce students to writing poetry of their own.
I think back, and I remember that my father taught me how to write limericks. They always tended to be sensible and rather childish though. Then I discovered that they could be anything but serious, sensible or charming!
Over the past five days, Max has been composing rhymes with me. I give him a word or a subject and then off we set. We rummage around looking for ways to write about our word, searching for rhymey words. (rhymey is a Rose Appleby and Sarah Froggatt word).
Our first post was Bob the Slob, then we wrote about Max's Crazy Cat, Milk, Cheese and today, Crunchy Apples. Tomorrow, well, that will be for tomorrow.
There are some good, and some bad, resources on line to help when you get stuck for a word. I also invested in a couple of rhyming dictionaries about 18 months ago to support vocabulary development as well as coming to terms with the infuriating vagaries of the English language and spelling.
I have chosen some that I really like:
Black's Rhyming and Spelling Dictionary, by Pie Corbett and Ruth Thomson. It is published by A & C Black:
I love this book as it is full of colour and fun, besides helping children learn to spell and rhyme.
And where would we be without an Oxford edition? This is a solid reference book and it even comes in a junior version! What more could you want?
Another purchase is the Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary by Sue Young. It has over 1,500 rhymes and is very logically laid out. You do have to watch it though as it has American English Spelling.
Obviously, these books are not the only ones available, they are my chosen ones. I complement them with some of the fantastic on-line resources available to students and poets.
Max particularly likes a site called: RhymeBrain. It is well laid out and gives you rhymes as well as near-rhymes and slant-rhymes. This is particularly useful if the list of close rhyming words is rather boring or incomprehensible.
The site: Rhymes lists rhyming words out in syllable groups. This is excellent when you are writing poetry to a specific meter. It also gives you words that you might not have considered as possibilities.
RhymeZone is another site that groups words by number of syllables. It is not quite so well laid out as the other two, but nevertheless, is a fairly good resource.
I have found that it is always better to have a few sites that you visit for inspiration. Mainly because not everyone can provide you with a fool-proof 100% list of inspiring words.
YouGoRhymes, claims to be dedicated to be the largest rhyming dictionary and rhyming zone on line. It takes a different approach, which again is a good way of learning for yourself, your children, or your students. They dissect words - again excellent if you are writing to a set meter.
These are just a handful of the sites I have used and will continue to use with my sons and pupils. And, of course, if you are stuck for a word, or a different word than the one you have in your head, then there is a trusty thesaurus on-line.
Word of warning, a thesaurus presents us with a smorgasbord of words, but not all of them are what they seem. Overuse of a thesaurus is painful to read. So if you are unsure (or even sure) of whether the word you have chosen is suitable, one of the best actions you can take is to cross reference it back through the dictionary. And if all else fails, just repeat the word you have already used. It is far better to be a little boring than hugely inappropriate.
All of this leads me on to another related subject, that of poetic terms and understanding what it all means. Ah, that will have to be for another post.
You can find a Limey Limericks copy of our first post here: Bob the Slob
- Published 02 Oct 2013
Setting up a blog for my son and me.
1st October 2013
Off we went for lunch, to our favourite Italian restaurant in Singapore: Pasta Brava.
Max ate Penne with Pomodoro and I chose my usual: Ravioli Verde, followed by a single espresso.
It was a surreal experience, we met a new Executive Chef. He used to work at the Wessex Hotel (an icon), in Winchester.
- Published 05 Sep 2013
The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain,
But the rain in Singapore, will just pour, and pour,
And pour some more until the drains overflow,
So, it's not just the traffic that goes slow.....
And there I sit, in a traffic jam, up to the wheel arches in a raging torrent of water. I watch trees drift past me, bouncing on an uncontrollable adventure, carried by the newly spring rivers that craft paths and adventure.
Thank goodness I am in my car.
- Published 21 Aug 2013
A selfless rarity
My current lunchtime read this week is Star Girl, by Jerry Spinelli. My son studied this book last semestre in year 8, appreciating the ways that characters are created, how the reality of life is painted poignantly in words and learning what makes a good story. He told me it was a vast improvement on the novel he studied in the first semestre.
Tying in with the theme of Star Girl, and you really have to read it to "get it", his class were tasked with an exercise in blogging.