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Award-winning poet, playwright, broadcaster and children's author Roger McGough was born on 9 November 1937 in Liverpool, England. He was educated at St Mary's College, Crosby, Liverpool, and at Hull University. He taught at St Kevin's Comprehensive School, Kirby, and lectured at Mabel Fletcher College in Liverpool and at the Liverpool College of Art. He was a member of the pop music/poetry group 'The Scaffold' between 1963 and 1973. He made his name as one of the 'Liverpool Poets' with Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, included in The Mersey Sound: Penguin Modern Poets 10 (1967). A Fellow of John Moores University in Liverpool, he won a Cholmondeley Award in 1999 and was awarded an honorary MA from Nene College of Further Education. He was Fellow of Poetry at the University of Loughborough (1973-5), Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University (1993) and is a member of the Executive Council of the Poetry Society. He was awarded an OBE in 1997.
He has twice won the Signal Poetry Award: first in 1984 with Sky in the Pie, then again in 1999 for Bad, Bad Cats. He is also the author of a number of plays, including All the Trimmings, first performed at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, in 1980, and The Mouthtrap, which he wrote with Brian Patten, produced at the Edinburgh Festival in 1982. He wrote the lyrics for an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows first staged in Washington, DC, in 1984, transferring to Broadway in 1995. He has written for and presented programmes on BBC Radio including 'Poetry Please' and 'Home Truths'. His film work includes Kurt, Mungo, BP and Me (1984), for which he won a BAFTA award, and he won the Royal Television Society Award for his science programme The Elements (1993).
His Collected Poems, bringing together over forty years of McGough's poetry, was published in 2003, and his live poetry album, Lively, is now out on CD.
Author photo: Leila Romaya.
Interest Age 7-12 Reading Age 7 Here’s a slice of Roger McGough’s childhood to entertain young readers, stories of some of the antics he got up to with his friend Midge: adventures with a new puppy; fun days at school; days out on Formby beach, rucksacks packed with jam butties, dog biscuits and pop. McGough’s writing is very direct, perfect for Barrington Stoke who specialise in making books that are accessible to all readers, but he slips in lovely ideas and images too, so October is a bully wearing a grey frown and kicking the leaves around and the sea, the old sneak thief, steals footprints left in the sand and does who knows what with them. Like the treasure that the boys find (and lose), this is full of secrets, waiting to be opened. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling and reluctant readers aged 7+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2015 - Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 7 “When I was young, I lived in Liverpool and my best friend was a boy called Midge.” In this lovely little book Roger McGough describes a couple of the adventure he had with Midge. They might have taken place back in the 1950s but they are just the kind of thing that children still find exciting today – running away to sea, a bit of secret agent activity around big sister’s party. In Barrington Stoke style, they’ve been written in a way that makes them accessible to all readers. True and funny, the stories are told with a simplicity and directness that makes them as refreshing as the breeze that buffets the ferries on the Mersey. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 7+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
Award winning duo - poet Roger McGough and illustrator Chris Riddell - have created a stunning picture book that is part-fact, part brilliant invention. A little girl thinks she knows just how everything works. Take a toaster, for example. Surely, there’s a dragon inside who breathes fire and makes the toast just right? Or is there another explanation all together? And what about the polar bears in the fridge? Or the pigs in the rubbish truck? Luckily Dudley is on hand to put her right with some rather more scientific answers!
May 2012 Book of the Month. Best-selling poet Roger McGough hits some real Eureka! moments in this cheerfully wacky picture book full of fabulously ingenious inventions. Professor Dotty Dabble is a great inventor so is sure she’ll win the National Science Museum’s prize. But Digby, her invaluable robot, has his doubts… Amazing real inventions including the biro and the parachute feature alongside Dotty’s more unusual one in this entertaining celebration of creativity.
5+. A fabulous collection of poems from one of the UK's best-loved poets. Deliciously witty, each of the fifty poems is a little firecracker of delight delivering knowledge and insights in a light and humorous way. Many are about animals and nature - The Meerkat Lullaby, Wasps, Every Little Breeze - and there is even one about pollen, but there are others about all kinds of subjects including the title poem, Lucky, the story of a boy who never managed to live up to his name. A collection to savour for its perfect use of language.
Age 5+. A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection. Reviewed and selected by our poetry expert, Liam Parkin: Roger McGough is one of the most well-liked and revered poets we have today and his children’s poetry is always imaginative and uniquely entertaining. An Imaginary Menagerie is a collection looking inside the strange world of unusual animals, from the Conger Eel to the War Thog. We are taken through tales of the ‘Badgers’ and ‘Goodgers’, the Porcupine that lost its quills, and the dangerous ‘Allivator’ – part Alligator, part elevator. A funny and exciting read, it is sure to have both adults and children laughing alike and is packed with McGough’s witty style that we’ve all warmed to over the years. Children will pick their favourite animal and be reciting it off by heart in no time – let’s just hope the Aunt-Eater never pops by! Shortlisted for the Independent Booksellers Book Award 2011 To view other collections of poetry for children, click here.
Age 7+. A deliciously macabre collection of cautionary poems in which gruesome and grisly children are taught the errors of their ways. McGough’s own poem ‘Cautionary Tales’ entertainingly describes the fate that befalls Josephine whose lack of application at school cause leads fairly directly to her rather nasty fate. Familiar and unfamiliar, including very old favourites such as Poor Old Lady which tells of the woman who inexplicably swallows a fly – and then the rest -, all heed caution. Wonderfully macabre illustrations by the supremely talented Chris Mould complete a completely original book of poetry.
Age 7+ 100s of poems chosen by school children all around the UK was the starting point for this collection. Roger McGough then paired the list down to just 100 contemporary and classic poems. January 2011 Guest Editor Jenny Downham: "I had a poetry anthology as a child that I adored, but which is sadly out of print now. What I loved most about it was that there always seemed to be a poem to describe exactly how I was feeling. It gave the book a magical property for me. I still have my battered old copy and I often dip into it. Here’s an anthology that contains many of the same poems. And the great thing is that these were all chosen by children from 135 schools across the UK."