The Works. For Book Depository link click here.

THE WORKS ONE – The first and best. Now updated and re-released with a new section on how to write poems. What a brilliant idea this was. A huge book of poems based around forms and styles. If you’re looking for a haiku – look up the section on haikus. If you’re after action verse – you’ll find some here. Over five hundred pages. A wide range of poets – ancient and modern – and some excellent poems too from daft verse to worthy and more serious works. Every classroom should have a copy of this book. If you haven’t yet got a copy – why not?

Edited by Paul Cookson
Macmillan Children’s Books 550 pp £7.99
ISBN: 0-330-48104-5

The WORKS TWO – After the success of the first book came the follow up. Slightly shorter (but still 450 pages!) and this time poems arranged by subject heading. if you need poems to supplement science lessons or poems about the environment then this could be your first port of call. As with the first book – a great and wide-ranging selection of poets and poems. Buy this for your classroom too.

Edited by Brian Moses and Pie Corbett
Macmillan Children’s Books 456pp £5.99
ISBN: 0-330-39902-0

THE WORKS THREE How to follow up one and two? How about a poet a week? Here are fifty two poets each given a week’s worth of poems. As Paul says in his introduction – So often we see poems in isolation, dotted about in anthologies… here we get to see seven in a row and we get a better impression of the person behind the poems – the variety of style, tone, rhythm and rhyme. And it works. The poets range from Wordsworth, Burns, Tennyson, Rosetti and Emily Dickinson – through classic children’s poets such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Eleanor Farjeon to Spike Milligan and contemporary children’s poets. Again – great value.

Edited by Paul Cookson
Macmillan Children’s Books. 541pp £6.99
ISBN: 0 – 330 – 41578 – 6

THE WORKS FOUR Every kind of poem on every topic that you will ever need for literacy hour. Arranged alphabetically and not really having a lot to do with literacy hour (Ah… remember that?) here’s another excuse for a big book of poems. Animals, Boy’s Stuff, Celebrations and Festivals, Dinosaurs, Dragons and Dodos… and so on. Again a wide range of poetry by a wide range of poets – both in style and form and poets old and new. It also contains teachers’ notes and a glossary of terms including explanations of different poetic forms. As with the first three books – excellent value for money.

Edited by Pie Corbett and Gaby Morgan
Macmillan Children’s Books 568pp £5.99
ISBN: 0-330-43644-9

THE WORKS FIVE – Following on from the Works 3 Paul Cookson now finds a poet for every letter of the alphabet (is the format wearing a bit thin by now? Possibly – but who cares.) The best thing about the book for me is finding poets who seldom appear in children’s anthologies. For example L turns up Edward Lear and CS Lewis but also DH Lawrence and Philip Larkin. In many ways the most serious and interesting of the Works collection. Also interesting – there are a couple of poets featured who don’t actually exist! (There’s a challenge for your bright year 6s) – and here’s a clue. Paul’s a big fan of that popular 1970s beat combo Slade.

Edited by Paul Cookson
Macmillan Children’s Books 358pp £5.99
ISBN 0-330-39870-9

THE WORKS SIX This time full of poems for assemblies. It’s divided into seven sections – Festivals, Celebrations and Seasons; Feelings and Faith; People – Families and Friends; Heroes and Heroines; Looking After the World; Celebrating Small Things; The Journey – Growing; Changing, Old and New; Signs, Stories and Symbols. And as always there’s a great range of poems, from light hearted to serious – in a great variety of styles. Great value for money, too.

Poems chosen by Pie Corbett
Macmillan Children’s Books 470 pp
ISBN 978-0-330-43439-3

Other Works books

The Works Key Stage 1
The Works Key Stage 2

Poems for each year group chosen by Pie Corbett, ex primary teacher and head teacher. Pie advised the National Literacy Strategy, especially on teaching poetry, writing and grammar. And so, as you would expect, a good and varied collection of poems from someone who knows what he’s talking about. This books also come with a short section of teachers’ notes and workshop ideas for your class.

The Big Book of Christmas

Not exactly a Works book but in the same format and by the same series editor, Gaby Morgan. This contains a wealth of Christmas material. As well as a great collection of poems there are carols, plays – including a song-filled nativity and a play by Julia Donaldson – the Christmas story and even instructions for making Christmas decorations and party food. And great value.