Reading Together

We get to know each other first,
talk about books and reading
until some children are fit to burst,
they’re so keen to find out what I’m offering.

I take out a book and the child says ‘Easy!’,
explores the cover, reads the title, explains
what they think it’s all about, and then we
read the blurb and talk a bit again.

The child’s excitement reaches a peak,
it’s a book they haven’t seen before;
after reading the same old one all week,
at school and at home, they need more

than their regular fare, something with a twist,
some humour, adventures or magic spells,
with words from their vocabulary list
to demonstrate their budding skills.

There’s some struggling with split digraphs,
silent letters can be tricky too,
when a word has made us laugh
or the idea behind the story’s new.

But when the light bulb illuminates
above a reluctant reader’s head,
the pupil and I both celebrate
all the words they have just read.

Kim M. Russell, 4th September 2019

Image result for paintings and artwork adult and child reading Pinterest
Image found on


My response to Poets United Midweek Motif: Literacy

Susan reminds us that International Literacy Day is on 8th September and says that she doesn’t remember learning to read. I don’t either, but I do remember the magic of sitting in a corner reading a book, knowing what all the funny black marks on the paper meant and loving the escape into other worlds. While Susan volunteers with an adult literacy program, I listen to children aged 6-8 reading, and we have lots of fun. The schools I work with only went back today, so I haven’t been there since the end of July. I’m really looking forward to seeing the children again.

Our challenge this week is to write a new poem that addresses the flowering of literacy, an instance/element of how it is an entry ticket or a barrier.

21 thoughts on “Reading Together

  1. I celebrate here with you, Kim. I also celebrate with my former students when we see each other. Most, if not all, have a “Thank you” to begin. I smiled when I read your words, “the blurb”. I use it quite a bit when telling of a short informative note but not as the back cover summary or frontpiece introduction to a book. Our granddaughter used it when she was in second or third grade telling me how to start reading a book. “Blurb” may now have graduated from being an informal word. I’ll check that soon.


  2. As both my wife and I were great readers it was no surpise that all three of our kids were ardent readers too. I know my youngest granddaughter follows the pattern and will read well after bedtime with her parents having to tell her to get to sleep now!

    Liked by 1 person

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