Valerie Bloom

writer and performance poet

Rhymes and Rhythms in Bonny Scotland

On 27 November I had the privilege of working with Roger McGough on a BBC Scotland live recording, Rhymes and Rhythms. We had a brilliant time sharing our poetry with an enthusiastic audience of 5-7 year-old pupils, and the organisers, the Scottish Book Trust have created a set of learning resources for teachers. These are available on their website free of charge; and I’ve linked to a couple below.

Wishing everyone a peaceful run-up to the end-of-year break!

Learning resources

Watch the event

Clips from the event (via the BBC Scotland Learning website)

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50 Best

From handbags to kitchen appliances our family has taken great pleasure in perusing the Guardian’s “50 Best” feature over the years. So I was delighted to discover not only that their latest edition looks at such an important topic as culturally diverse children’s literature, but to see one of my own books make it into the list!

The Guardian’s Diverse Voices: the 50 best culturally diverse children’s books looks at the best children’s and teenagers’ books celebrating cultural and ethnic diversity since 1950. My picture book, Fruits is the second in the list, in the “Early Years” section. Celebrating Children’s Book week, the article sits among various features exploring children’s literature and diversity.

Speaking of the latter, it was good to see a wide array of cultures featured, albeit what one would expect!

Have a read, and maybe discover an old treasure from your childhood, or a new one to share! What books would you have added to the list?

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Poetry, charity, royalty

October 17th has lots of good memories; a family birthday, a neice’s anniversary, a trip to Kenya three years back. This year, however, the day afforded an experience I don’t often enjoy; performing to royalty! As part of a school visit I gave a performance and writing workshop to a group of schoolchildren as lovely and enthusiastic as ever. Or perhaps slightly more excited than usual, as these young people had another visitor in the form of HRH Princess Beatrice!

The workshop took place at St Peter’s School in Farnham, and was organised by the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre as part of Dyslexia Awareness Week. Princess Beatrice is Patron of the Centre, and knows personally what it takes to achieve academically in spite of the condition. It was lovely meeting both HRH and Helen Arkell herself. The Princess seemed to enjoy the workshop, and the children were  certainly pleased to have her join them for it!

Always a pleasure to meet such interesting and accomplished people as part of my work. Till next time!

17-10-2013 with HRH

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