Jenny Lockyer


This summer I was commissioned by Croydon Libraries to write two poems for the Summer Reading Challenge inspired by the Silly Squad!


Lots of information here on the Croydon Libraries website here: 

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.

Get Involved!

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 and Norman.png

Norman's Notes.


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

Resemblance striking.



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.

Look ridiculous.



Izzie hangs the washing out,

Takes her five seconds.



Snook puts on clothes still pegged up.

Extremely silly



All of Silly Squad join in.

Even sillier.


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.