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Forty fantastic poems inspired by nature words left out of the latest Oxford Junior Dictionary. Help save the names of these animals, plants and birds from extinction and be inspired to write your own poems using other words which have been culled!

Watch out for bossy Beetroot! Be enchanted by a Bluebell witch’s thimble and spot a dive-bombing Lark or a cute Great-Crested Newt.

From Adder to Wren, forty fantastic poems celebrate forty amazing animals, birds and plants and their beautiful names – names which YOU can can help poet Chrissie Gittins save from EXTINCTION. This is nature close up, exciting – and WILD.

  • Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion and Michael Morpurgo were among 28 authors who, in 2015, protested against Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st-century terms. They called for “a deliberate and publicised decision to restore some of the most important nature words” in order to send a “tremendous cultural signal and message of support for natural childhood”. This is exactly what Chrissie Gittins’ new anthology does.
  • An August 2016 highlight in The Bookseller
  • Dramatic and vivid poetic imagery brings the natural world up close
  • Cross-curricular opportunities for science
  • By a dynamic, award winning poet who visits schools and festivals across the UK
  • Read an interview with Chrissie Gittins
  • Witty illustrations by an artist who exhibits and sells his work internationally
  • This collection will be eligible for the CLIPPA Poetry Prize (for which Chrissie has twice been previously shortlisted), Ted Hughes Award, Costa Children’s Book Award and the CILIP Carnegie Medal

‘‘Chrissie Gittins knows just what words can do: she makes them dance, sing, sit still for a moment and then leap across the page with joy!’’ Ian McMillan

Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and lives in south London. She worked as an artist and teacher before becoming a full- time writer. Her poems have been animated for CBeebies and included in many anthologies. She visits schools, libraries and book festivals across the UK.

Chrissie won the Belmont Poetry Prize for children’s poems in 2002, and her first three children’s poetry collections were all Poetry Book Society Choices. Her previous poetry books include The Humpback’s Wail and Stars in Jars, which was a Scottish Poetry Library recommendation for 2014; in the same year Chrissie was a finalist in the first Manchester Children’s Literature Prize.

Paul Bommer is an illustrator, printmaker and graphic designer. His many international clients include the Guardian, Harrods and Virgin, and he exhibits his work across the UK. He was the illustrator for The Humpback’s Wail, by Chrissie Gittins.

Otter-Barry Books is an exciting new children’s imprint aiming to make a difference, push boundaries and publish books that children will love, and which will be welcomed by booksellers, libraries and schools worldwide. Otter-Barry Books will be publishing four poetry collections per year, including top names and talented newcomers, all of whom are available for performances and workshops.