Jennifer Mooney recently read one of our favourite collections – Quick Let’s Get Out Of Here by MIchael Rosen and Quentin Blake – to her class of senior infants. Suffice to say it went down a treat! Let’s find out more.
‘Can we please have another Quick Let’s Get Out Of Here!’ has been loudly called out every lunch time in my senior infant classroom since the arrival of this utterly captivating, delightful collection of poems by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake. The Roald Dahl fans amongst the children instantly recognised the illustrations and were intrigued, and after reading three of four poems the entire class was hooked!
The poems range from short to lengthy, from prose to verse, and all deal with familiar family situations in a relatable, often humorous or tender way.
The subject matter of all the poems is rooted in the child’s experience – arguing with your siblings, clonking in drains when it rains, bath time and school – making them highly accessible to the child reader. Some poems are very light hearted and incredibly funny.
Poems like ‘Chocolate Cake’ and ‘Orange Juice’ have very strong narratives and demand to be performed. (I was delighted with the chance to flex my old acting muscles and see the children in fits of giggles) Some poems, like ‘Skeleton’ or ‘On The Train’ provide philosophical snapshots from real life and stay with you long after reading:
‘There’s someone looking out the window
Looking at me.’
But I’m only someone looking out the window
Looking at someone
Looking out the window
Looking at someone.
Then it’s all gone.’
Others poems carry more emotional weight. ‘Going Through The Old Photos’ deals with the often had realisation that family life is not as simple as you may have thought. In it, the speaker finds out he had sibling who died as a baby whilst looking through an old photo album with his Dad. Some poems like ‘Wise One’ are a fantastic celebration of words and the humour they can provide:
‘Wise one, wise one
What’s at the end of a cat’s tail?
…Wise one, wise one
My parrot talks too much.
Give it a good book to read.’
I loved this collection, the children in my class loved it too. Some poems were better suited to their age group of course, but Quick, Let’s Get Out Of Here has a broad ranging appeal and can be enjoyed by children as young as six and seven all the way to older children and adults.