The long-awaited Pound a Poem book hits the shelves in bookstores across the UK, including the Cancer Research UK shop at 127 High Street, Putney. The book comes hot on the heels of the first ever national Pound a Poem competition for children’s poetry.
This time last year, the charity challenged children in school years three to six to write a poem about fruit and vegetables. Every child taking part was asked to donate a pound for each poem they entered, with all money raised going towards research into children’s cancers.
The idea inspired more than 20,000 children to get involved, with a team of teachers whittling the entries down to 64 regional winners – all of whose poems have been published in the Pound a Poem book, alongside poems by a host of famous names.
Celebrities turning their hand to poetry for this special book include authors Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowirtz, Blue Peter’s Konnie Huq and prima ballerina Darcy Bussell. The book also includes verses by a range of sports personalities, such as former England Rugby captain Will Carling and footballers Robert Pires, Paul Robinson and David Seaman.
From the thousands of entrants, 16 lucky children were also chosen to go forward to the national final, where a celebrity panel, including the then Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, nutritionist Annabel Karmel, TV presenter Dominic Wood and children’s comedian James Campbell, had the difficult task of choosing just one national winner for each school year taking part.
The overall winner, ‘The Pumpkin’, was written by seven year old Hertfordshire schoolboy Edward Dutton who, in addition to seeing his poem published in the Pound a Poem book, also won a fantastic family holiday to Barbados.
Fundraiser Celia Abrahams, who came up with the idea of Pound a Poem and organised the competition on behalf of Cancer Research UK, said: “The idea behind Pound a Poem was to create a fun experience for kids which would also help them to learn about eating healthily and encourage them to develop good habits that will stay with them throughout their lives.
“The Pound a Poem book means even more children will be able to share in the experience and hopefully have a go at writing poetry for themselves. It’s a great read, full of fantastically funny verses, which I’m sure will have children of all ages laughing out loud. Best of all, by buying a copy you’ll be making a valuable contribution to Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.”
The Pound a Poem book is available now from the Putney Cancer Research UK shop, and all good bookshops (RRP: £9.99), with all profits going towards Cancer Research UK’s research into childhood cancer.