This summer I was commissioned by Croydon Libraries to write two poems for the Summer Reading Challenge inspired by the Silly Squad!
and also on the Summer Reading Challenge website here:
The Silly Squad is this year's theme for the annual Summer Reading Challenge created by the Reading Agency and delivered by libraries all over the country.
All of the lovely offical Reading Agency illustrations on this page are © Laura Ellen Andersen 2020 and are used with permission.
Me and Croydon Libraries would love children to draw their own illustrations of the characters for the two poems I've written... can you read what silly adventures they get up to in the poems and draw them?
Which two Silly Squad members attempt a highwire dining act? Who tries to get dressed with clothes that are still hanging up on the washing line? Which character is determined to be miserable and drops in to tell everybody off for being too silly?
Children are invited to draw illustrations for the poems which I will display here in a Silly Squad Gallery. Have a read of the poems below and a listen if you watch the video and get drawing!
Even better, have a go at writing your own silly poems!
Send your illustrations to :
We're really looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
The Silly Squad Variety Show
“Encore! Tell us another joke!”
So Lily the frog kept going.
She'd told a hundred jokes so far,
Her confidence was growing.
All the Silly Squad were there
To enjoy this comedy aquatic
Bamboozle and Izzie, Merry and Snook,
But Brian was in the attic
Then Cher and Shirley the fun house sheep
Appeared to take the stage.
They'd just read A Midsummer Night's Dream
And remembered every page!
Another hour followed of
Theatre comical and dramatic
But Brian missed Cher's Bottom
'Cause he was in the attic.
An interval for snacks and drinks,
Izzie the Octopus showed her skill.
She served ice cream with poetry
While working on the till!
With meticulous calculation,
She was quite the act mathematic
She finished with some fireworks!
Shame Brian was in the attic.
Which of the squad would take the chance
To open the second half?
Then with a swish of satin
On came a tall giraffe.
Merry was in the spotlight,
Her yarns so charismatic
Everyone hung on her every word
While Brian was in the attic.
Then Mo and Filbert the platypuses
On tightropes were a riot!
They ate while going back and forth
To prove a balanced diet.
And though their highwire dining
Made the soup course problematic
They finished up to huge applause
But Brian was in the attic.
Bamboozle the panda loves a trick
And to tread the boards.
He made Shirley the sheep disappear
And swallowed several swords!
His magic act had showmanship,
A style quite enigmatic
As Shirley the sheep reappeared
Next to Brian in the attic!
Snook was last to give a turn
And to everyone's great pleasure
He gave out pirate costumes
And they set off to find treasure!
With cloths and sheets they shaped a ship
For an adventure quite piratic,
Then suddenly Brian the pony
Descended from the attic!
He landed in from high above,
A unicorn in flight.
If only unicorns could fly
It would have looked alright.
But let's move on, as Brian was there
And he was quite emphatic
“Will you all be quiet, please.
I'm brooding in the attic”
“Arrrrr!” Brian said, then stomped away
Snook looked out to sea.
'One day he'll make a fine pirate...
Now where that treasure be......??!”
Then later they all took their bows
On a high, ecstatic!
Everyone has a silly bone.
Even Brian, in the attic.
By Jenny Lockyer
©Jenny Lockyer August 2020
Brian's asked me to spy on the Silly Squad
Here are my notes from today.
If found return to Norman,
Don't read, just look away.
Are you reading this? How nosey!
But then in my opinion
Who am I to stop you?
I'm just Brian the pony's minion.
Seeing as you're here, though
Perhaps I can confide
And tell you what it's like for me
Being on Brian's side.
It can be quite eventful
In weird and wonky ways
When Brian broke the laugh-o-meter
He partied hard for days.
He galloped round for ages
And while he gave himself a blister
Us pigeons got a take away
And then we all played Twister.
But most of the time, in Brian's camp
Joy levels are abysmal
Brian's determined to bring things down
And keep it dark and dismal.
The only thing that keeps me
From feeling quite forlorn
Is seeing how silly Brian looks
Dressed as a unicorn.
I think it is a bold move,
For one who dislikes joy
To dress up in a rainbow
And become their own decoy.
I don't think Brian appreciates
His silliness potential
And I must say, perhaps confess,
Silliness is essential.
Like bread and milk and margarine
I'd like some silly, please
Just slip it in the basket,
Between the eggs and cheese.
(talking figuratively. I can't eat eggs.)
I care for Brian, we all do
But he needs to lose the tension
Take counselling or therapy,
He needs an intervention.
I'd love to see him read more books
And open up his mind
Climb into a story
And leave his stress behind.
Travel with great heroes
Magical wand in hand
Fall down rabbit holes with Alice
To a wacky wonderland!
Wander through the wardrobe
Race Toad's motor car
He could sit upon a giant peach
And wish upon a star.....
Returning to reality.
It's a shame I have to.
Tuesday 5th August
(In a series of Haikus to make my work more interesting.)
Merry the giraffe makes tea.
Cold on reaching face.
Lily tells all a new joke
1pm I laugh....
...I'm not on the ball.
I'm taking notes for Brian
And I'm distracted.
Bamboozle dons Bowie wig
No one here so read comic.
Brian would be mad.
(Great story about
Evil horse with heart of gold.
Leave on Brian's desk.)
Snook reads cool sports annual
Then does five star jumps.
Feel inspired by Snook to jump.
Izzie hangs the washing out,
Takes her five seconds.
Snook puts on clothes still pegged up.
All of Silly Squad join in.
Brian reads comic!
Can't quite gauge his impression.
But isn't in bin.
Brian rolls eyes, then comic.
Bops own head with it.
Quite silly of him.
Does he see the irony?
Things are looking up.
End of Norman's notes for today.
By Jenny Lockyer
©Jenny Lockyer August 2020.