Can you hear the distant dragon’s rumble of thunder? And smell the sweet swampy aroma of the ogre? Can you taste the tangy tarantula tarts? And see the girl who’s really a wizard? From magic carpets and wands to unicorns, potions, creams and lotions, Paul Cookson’s brewing a spell of fantastically magic poems. On this tattered magic carpet You can choose your destination For nothings quite as magical As your imagination Beautifully illustrated, this enchanting anthology brings together work from a range of classic, established and rising poets including Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, Valerie Bloom, Matt Goodfellow, Joshua Seigal and A.F. Harrold. Whether you’re in the mood for a haunting or a spell gone wrong, this collection of mesmerising poems will have you bewitched from beginning to end!

Information about the Book
Title: Fire Burn, Cauldron Burn
Editor: Paul Cookson
Illustrated by: Eilidh Muldoon
Genre: MG Poetry
Publication Date: 17th September 2020
Page Count: 160
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54968419-fire-burn-cauldron-bubble
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Burn-Cauldron-Bubble-Magical/dp/1472958152

by Paul Cookson

To be honest, Halloween isn’t actually a favourite time. Mainly because it seems “Americanised” and commercial. And I’m old and grumpy!

I like the idea of monsters and vampires, werewolves and witches – they are great to write about – but if I’m honest I’m not that keen on kids dressing up and begging for sweets! In fact when they knock on my door and say “Trick or Treat?” I always reply with the word “Trick” … and they never know what to do!

When I was a child ( a long, long time ago now ! ), Bonfire Night was the main event on the calendar. Halloween may have been mentioned but there was no dressing up, no pumpkins for lanterns. If I remember correctly we had turnip lanterns – turnips! Have you tried to carve a turnip? You would start enthusiastically but soon give up – and the turnip just looked mangled and attacked. And a candle inside a turnip looks rubbish! At least pumpkins are easier and more fun! We did occasionally play “apple bobbing” – but that’s as far as Halloween went.

Bonfire Night … well, that was different. Every child was excited, wanted to build a bonfire and make a “Guy”, pestering dads for old clothes then begging from strangers with the words “Penny for the guy” … er, so dressing up and begging … aaah!

As a poet, Halloween is a great thing to write about because everyone knows about it. That common ground is important for a writer and tapping into those things that children find exciting is equally important. Plus it’s great fun to write scary poems or play about with the idea of monsters and spells.

Paul Cookson lives in Retford with his wife, two children, a dog and several ukuleles. He has worked as a poet since 1989 and has visited thousands of schools and performed to hundreds of thousands of pupils and staff. Paul is the official Poet in Residence for the National Football Museum, the Poetry Ambassador for United Learning and Poet Laureate for Slade. He worked as the Poet for Everton Collection at Liverpool Library, was Poet in Residence for Literacy Times Plus and, as part of the National Year of Reading, was nominated a National Reading Hero and received his award at 10 Downing Street. Paul has 60 titles to his name and poems that appear in over 200 other books. His work has taken him all over the world from Argentina, Uganda and Malaysia to France, Germany and Switzerland. @paulcooksonpoet

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