lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

W is for Children’s Poets Philip Waddell, Kate Wakeling, Celia Warren, Zaro Weil, Colin West, Robert Paul Weston, and Chris White

This is a temporary post – the full A-Z list of children’s poets will be posted permanently at after April.
Chris White
Chris White
Chris White is a writer, illustrator and performance poet. Those are his illustrations at the top! He has had many poetry and story books published since his first; Bitey the Veggie Vampire in 2000. As well as scribbling pictures to accompany his own work, Chris illustrates for other authors too. He has appeared at many festivals (I saw him at Edinburgh!), toured the world with his performances and workshops, and had his poems and pictures broadcast on BBC TV and radio. (And he has kindly drawn a cartoon of me, with Lola, that sometimes appears around the blog!). Chris’ website is here, for booking details.
 Here is one of his fun poems:
Let me introduce you to
The creature called a Kangamoo
Her fur is coloured black and white
She’s crazy and cute and friendly alright!
Where does she live? Don’t worry, I know
She lives in a field or grassy meadow
Eating the grass that she pulls from the ground
And jumping and leaping and bounding around
Can you see her tummy? (Please try not to stare)
A small furry pouch is hanging right there
And inside this pouch, she keeps all her shopping
So she doesn’t drop it whilst she’s jumping and hopping
What does she buy? To which shops does she go?
Well, peek in her pouch and then you will know
There’s strawberries, bananas, blueberries too
With all that fresh fruit, what things does she do?
Well, under her pouch, you’ve noticed, I’m sure
She has a pink udder from which milk will pour
Into her pouch with a squirt and a squoot
She’ll mix all that milk with the fabulous fruit
And what has she done? What did she make?
Her very own delicious Kangamilkshake!
So, when she is hot from bouncing about
She’ll get a couple of bendy straws out
Stick them in her pouch and without having to think
She’ll slurp down her own refreshing milk drink!
And it is so tasty, it restores her powers
So now she’ll go jumping for hours and hours
So, if you’re ever close to a Kangamoo’s tummy
Go on, have a taste, I hear that it’s scrummy!
But good luck if you try to quench your thirst
You got to actually catch her first…
© Chris White
Robert Paul Weston


Robert Paul Weston

Robert Paul Weston is the internationally award-winning author of several books for young readers, including the verse novels Zorgamazoo and Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff. He lives in London. His website is here.


This is one of his wonderful poems:


The Lightning Bird

Have you heard
of the lightning bird
with thunder under in its wings?
Its talons flash
they shimmer, slash
its high, white lightning sings
a song of soaring
tumbling, roaring
a cloud, a flock, a swarm
whose shrieks and flaps
and thunder claps
can drum a summer storm.
© Robert Paul Weston
 Colin West



Colin West

Colin West was born in 1951 and studied Graphic Design and Illustration at various art colleges. His first book, a slim volume of nonsense verse, Out of the Blue from Nowhere, was published by Dennis Dobson in 1976. He went on to write and illustrate some sixty children’s books, and now lives in Sussex and writes and draws for his own amusement, mainly.

However, he has published two rather wonderful collections recently, The Funniest Stuff and Bonkers Ballads, both of which I love, and both of which are stuffed with Colin’s delightfully witty poems and charming, colour illustrations.

Here is one of the poems from The Funniest Stuff:


My Vulture

I once had a little vulture,
But he didn’t care for Culture,
And to let the whole world know it,
He would peck at any poet.

Though I begged him not to do so,
He would squawk all through Caruso,
And what really seemed a scandal,
Hiccup all the way through Handel.

I once dragged him to a lecture
On Renaissance architecture,
But he found the subject boring,
So he spent the whole time snoring.

When at last I took my vulture
To a show of modern sculpture,
Twenty times he yawned, I counted,
So I had him stuffed and mounted.

Poem and illustrations © Colin West


Zaro Weil



Zaro Weil

Zaro Weil lives in an old farm on a little hill in southern France with her husband and two sheepdogs, Spot and Clementine, alongside a host of birds, insects, badgers, wild boars, crickets, donkeys, goats, hares and loads more. She has been a lot of things; dancer, theatre director, actress, poet, playwright, educator, quilt collector and historian, author, publisher to mention a few! Her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies. She has written several books including a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me published by Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA. Mud Moon and Me can be bought here. Her newest book Firecrackers, Troika, illustrated by Jo Riddellcan be bought here. Zaro’s website is here.


Here is a lovely poem by Zaro:




think of it


the first shudder of damp

somehow signalled

all was ready

then in the deep inside of earth

in the muted underneath of winter

spring began


not with a sudden trumpet of green

or a sky of confetti blossoms

but with a seed

small pale and barely breathing


it lay quietly

waiting for the lavender clouds

that carry the first warm rains

till for some reason as ancient and

everyday as the sun itself


the seed cracked

split and softly burst into

a faint tendril

a root a sprout

a thin wisp of a growing thing

and with no thought of stopping

it pushed through the

dark soil with the force of

a billion winter winds

until it


pierced the crust of the outside and

split the frozen armour of earth

which has held spring safe

since time began


© Zaro Weil


Celia Warren




Celia Warren

Celia has been writing poetry ever since she learned to read, and has been published since the early 1990s in hundreds of children’s anthologies, at home and abroad, and shortlisted and commended in various competitions. Her collections are all for young children and many of her poems and stories form infant readers in mainstream school reading programmes all over the world. She has compiled two anthologies: The RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poems illustrated by a range of fabulous artists, (Bloomsbury) and A Time to Speak and a Time to Listen (Schofield and Sims). Celia loves reading and performing her poems to anyone who’ll listen! Her website is here.

I have heard lovely Celia perform and I know everyone enjoys listening! I am also party to the fact she is very partial to worms. In fact her last book, Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles illustrated by Sean Longcroft, A&C Black, is all about them.

Here’s a poem from that collection:



Twenty soily centimetres underneath the ground
flexi-worms are exercising, writhing round and round,
strengthening their muscles in gymnastic pursuits
as they wiggle-weave and zig-zag in between the roots.

Tiptoe on the grass now – don’t make a sound;
mustn’t wake the worms up deep underground:
worn out with workouts they’re curling up to sleep
thirty dirty centimetres underneath our feet!


© Celia Warren


Kate Wakeling


Photo Credit: Tom Weller

Kate Wakeling

Kate’s poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Her debut collection of children’s poetry, Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa (The Emma Press) was described by The Sunday Times as “clever, funny, inspiring”, and won the 2017 CLiPPA (the only big poetry award specifically for children’s poetry); it was also nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal. You can buy and read about Moon Juice here. There is a link to Kate’s website here.

Here is one of Kate’s great poems:


Little-Known Facts


In secret, children can turn lightbulbs on and off with just their eyebrows.


When a child sneezes, the nearest adult briefly loses all reception on their mobile phone.


Left unwashed, children’s feet smell of perfectly-cooked spaghetti.


You can predict the next day’s weather on how tightly a child’s hair curls after a bath (extra curly = sunshine).


Behind children’s left ears grow tiny cacti which yield delicious juice every summer.


Children can see through brick walls of up to 15cm if the thing on the other side is definitely worth looking at.


When a child jumps up and down, fish in the nearest pond rise to the surface and blow a celebratory stream of bubbles.


Children can set up a reliable internet connection in any location using a pigeon and two drinking straws.


Children are able to smell a lie being told from 180 metres away.


© Kate Wakeling (From Moon Juice, the Emma Press)


Philip Waddell



Philip Waddell

Originally from Guyana, Philip Waddell has lived in England for most of his life, these days near the wonderful city of Oxford. He particularly enjoys writing humorous poems and likes directness, wordplay and poems with a twist. Since 1997 Philip’s poems have appeared in well over a hundred anthologies, many published by Macmillan and Bloomsbury, and with his good friend Ian Bland, performance poet, he has co-written and illustrated two collections of poems, A Bug in My Hair! and Go to the Head! .

Philip is a good friend and if you have spent any time at all in his company you will know that he is VERY punny! He can’t resist them.

Here is one of his Christmas poems:


The Visitors


‘You must both be very proud,’

said the first with a smile

weighing up the situation exactly.


‘A bit dribbly, isn’t he?’

observed the second accurately

but with a foolish grin.


‘Coochie, coochie,’ cooed the third playfully,

completely forgetting, as he gazed at the child,

to say anything wise.


© Philip Waddell

You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter

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