Something I particularly love about having boys is their unswerving fascination with natural history, aka bugs, snails, slugs, caterpillars, moths, butterflies, flies, bees, wasps and whatever other hapless creature might crawl, slither or fly in their direction.
Hours are spent out in the garden, closely examining what can be found by dislodging large stones or pouring water abundantly on the flower beds so that the creatures are fooled into thinking it’s raining.
Fascinations and fears seem to be somewhat arbitrary, the eldest convinced that he will be stung by a butterfly at any time (but keen to poke a bee whenever he sees one), the youngest particularly fond of following spiders around for hours, but showing marginal interest at the sighting of a ladybird.
The obsession continues for any bug-related activity too (actually, any animal-related activity is pretty popular): colouring-in books, stickers, stories and so on.
I was particularly delighted, therefore, to find a small poetry pamphlet in my local bookshop* all about minibeasts, titled, rather delightfully, Five Creepy Crawly Poems (contains slugs).
The sproglet loves to have them read aloud before bedtime and the first poem in the book, especially, is so pleasing to me I couldn’t resist sharing it with you here, in case anyone else has boys (or girls) who would appreciate listening to such things.
I went into the garden.
I dug down in the ground
To look for buried treasure
And this is what I found:
Things with shiny tails
Snails snails snails
Little beady bugs
Slugs slugs slugs.
Isn’t it fabulous?
Anyway, I hope I’m not breaking hundreds of copyright laws by writing it up here. If I am, let me know and I’ll take it down again…
The pamphlet is published by Candlestick Press and they have a great selection of other subjects too (the idea is, you send a pamphlet of poetry instead of a card, which I really kind of love…) You can buy them online here: www.candlestickpress.co.uk if you’re not lucky enough to have an awesome independent bookshop stocking them in your area.
And if you know any other great poems for boys, please let me know in the comments. We’re having a bit of a poetry moment round here.
* I’ve mentioned my local bookshop before, I know, but it’s worth a second recommendation in case you’re ever in the neighbourhood. It’s Rye Books (www.ryebooks.co.uk), in East Dulwich, down on Upland Road. It’s an independent, and is packed full with the most appealing books you’ve ever seen. Oh and you can get tea and cake as well, or leave your kids outside having a ride on a space rocket.