7 Fantastic Performances of Children's Poems on YouTube

Children enjoying an author event

Poetry, in case you hadn't noticed, is pretty hot right now. With the exciting news about Rachel McCrum's appointment as BBC Poet in Residence, the rising profile of slam poetry and the explosion of a generation of new young poets onto the British scene, people are starting to switch on to the wonders of the spoken word. Even Kanye West, perhaps the planet's least grounded presidential candidate, has a solid pedigree as a performance poet.

Young children, of course, have always known the pleasures of poetry - what self-respecting seven year old would dismiss as 'uncool' the dry humour of The Dentist and the Crocodile, or turn their noses up at a rhyming picture book (just let an aloof teen try and tell you that Kes Gray's rhyming of 'lions' with 'irons' in Oi Frog! isn't a piece of genius). So for poetry lovers young and old, here are 7 performances guaranteed to delight:

 

Pants by Giles Andreae, read by Lenny Henry

Alright, it's not a poem, strictly speaking, but together Giles Andreae and Lenny Henry achieve the critical mass of undergarments, great rhymes and manic shouting needed to satisfy any young person's desire for anarchy.

 

Michael Rosen - The Car Trip

The former Children's Laureate and all-round champion of creative literacy harnesses the horror of a tedious car journey and turns it into art.

 

J. Patrick Lewis - Mosquito

The former US Children's Poet Laureate explains why you should never trust a mosquito, the crafty blighters.

 

Joseph Coelho - Timmy Tell Tale

Joseph Coelho tells the cautionary tale of loose-tongued Timmy, who tattled one too many times.

 

Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S. Eliot, read by Count Arthur Strong

Blundering sitcom character Count Arthur Strong takes the reigns for this classic tale of everyone's favourite enigmatic feline. I love Arthur Strong - he's a champion of the much-maligned laughter track, for one thing.

 

Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently, read by Charlie Condou

Yes, yes, so again this isn't a poem, but it rhymes, and are you telling me you don't like cats? Isn't this the internet we're on?

 

To This Day - Shane Koyczan

This is definitely one for the older kids because it has at least one swear. But it's a beautiful endorsement of just being yourself, and it'll speak to anyone who feels marginalised or insecure, even if you don't watch it in its entirety.

 

That's it for this round up of the interweb. If you're a teacher or librarian, why not browse through our poetry resources, or take a look at our fantastic poetry based Authors Live events with Michael Rosen and Jackie Kay?