Reviews of Septimus Pitt


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Septimus Poems

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As a one time teacher who always enjoyed giving a performance I am already imagining the voice I could give to these poems - Septimus Pitt, Mister Nobody, the pupil describing his new teacher, all gifts to those among us who are frustrated actors. But more than this, these poems deal with things that interest children, things with which they can identify. And many of them are told in the vernacular they use.

Brian Whittingham has a brilliant track record of working with schools. His work for Glasgow Museums brought exhibitions alive and drew pupils into the collections in new and exciting ways, from wild tigers to knights and castles, from Ancient Egypt to World War II. The poetry helped children express their thoughts and emotions in ways that those of us who have watched Brian at work couldn't begin to imagine.

His work has brought him quite rightly to a place where he had to pull it all together and share his poems and experiences with others. This collection will inspire, delight and inform all who dip into it.

Anne Wallace
Education Officer,
Glasgow Museums

An excellent collection of poems pitched at the P5 - young-adult age group. Brian's ability to capture experiences through sensory imagery is enhanced by the beautiful illustrations. These would keep even the most reluctant of young readers mesmerised. The backdrop too of the poems is very apt for the young Scottish reader, particularly the Keepie Uppie King and In Between Sherbet Dabs. The Three Queens reflects Brian's time spent working in John Brown's Ship Yard, and provides an excellent stimulus for pupils first considering the notion of industries past and present.

This is a rich and entertaining poetry collection that can be used as a resource that teachers would welcome in the classroom.

Maura McRobbie
Primary Teacher and Enterprise Support Officer
West Dunbartonshire Council

A wonderful anthology of poems which assaults the senses and captures the heart!
As a PT who has a particular interest in raising boys' attainment, this is a perfect collection for use in a class of boys. The subject matter, the humour and the evocation of time and place would appeal to even the most apathetic reader; yet there is more than enough to simulate the more capable.

I would highly recommend this collection to my colleagues as a classroom resource, especially to motivate and inspire boys. Indeed, after reading aloud several of Brian's poems, I even heard pleas for 'Just one more, Miss!' And, no, my ears did not deceive me!

Claire Chisholm
Principal Teacher of English
St. Andrew's High School - Clydebank

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