child and polar bear, from The Ice bear by Jackie Morris

sketch of a sleeping peeping cat

a white duck in a tailcoat

Tell Me a Dragon, front cover of book by Jackie Morris, a girl feeding fairy cakes to a large blue-green dragon

Starlight Sailor, front cover, illustration by Jackie Morris, showing a child and a dog sailing in a paper boat across a sea of blue through which a blue whale swims

 

woman sleeping peacefully with a polar bear, from East of the Sun and West of the Moon

the jester from Singing to the Sun by Vivien French and Jackie Morris

snow leopard, front cover of The Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris, snow leopard head looking out of the picture, with great blue eyes

The Barefoot book of Classic Poems, front cover

How the Whale Became by Ted Hughes, front cover

Can You See a Little Bear by James Mayhew, front cover of book.

The Seal Children, front cover, showing child, Morlo, swimming with his mother, the selkie, by Jackie Morris

Lord of the Forest, front cover of book, by Caroline Pitcher and Jackie Morris, showing the face of a tiger

Little One We Knew You'd Come, illustrated by Jackie Morris, Mary and baby Jesus

Mariana and the Merchild by Caroline Pitcher, illustrated by Jackie Morris

The Snow Whale by Caroline Pitcher and illustrated by Jackie Morris

The Greatest Gift, illustrated by Jackie Morris

The Time of the Lion by Caroline Pitcher, illustrated by Jackie Morris, book cover showing a boy and a lion

Out of the Ark by Anita Ganeri, stories from world religions, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Stories from World Religions by Anita Ganeri, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Animals of the Bible by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Miracles by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Parables by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Cities in the Sea by Sian Lewis, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Cantre'r Gwaelod by Sian Lewis, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Grandmother's Song, illustrated by Jackie Morris, written by Barbara Soros

Bears Beras and More Bears by Jackie Morris

Journeys Through Dreamtime by Anita Ganeri, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Stories From the Stars, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Jo's Storm by Caroline Pitcher, illustrated by Jackie Morris

 

 

 

cover design for The Barefoot Book of Classic Poemsof

 

The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems
illustrated by Jackie Morris with an introduction by Carol Ann Duffy
pub: 2006

This book began with the idea of doing a 32 page book of nursery rhymes and somehow changed into a 128 page book of classic poems. Getting the content together was a challenge, like doing a huge jigsaw with infinite pieces, but also a great pleasure. Sitting and reading poetry is a good way to spend your working time and falling into bed with a head full of poems at the end of the day is a wonderful way to grow tired.

Things changed all the time as poems moved in and out of the content and some favourites were lost and new poems added. How Many Miles to Babylon was dropped after the size of the book was changed and the poem was dropped from the contents.

PAinting for How Many Miles to Babylon

Some poems came in at the last minute, like Custard the Dragon, and I fought hard for Overheard on a Salt Marsh to be included, even threatening to howl outside the Barefoot offices until they allowed the poem into the book, but to no avail. Great sympathy for the goblin, who also did not get his own way.

 

The cover was difficult, with so many poems in the book various ideas have came and went. The poems range from Milton to Ted Hughes, poems about Lone Dogs, High Flight, Love, Loss, War and Rainbows, Spells for Sleeping and Bears. Hopefully it will be a book to treasure through life.

To see the cover being painted click here.

 

page from Th eBarefoot Book of Classic Poems showing The Owl and The Pussy Cat, by Jackie Morris

The book will hopefully be a doorway through into the world of poetry for children discovering poets for the first time and for those familiar with the poems to revisit them. What makes these poems classic is that they speak through time with a truth, a strength and integrity. They can be read and re read and still some new insight can be grasped, a new pleasure from the turn and roll of a phrase.

Reading Amulet to children during a presentation I began to grasp something of what the words mean, but only the very corner of it, having read the poem so many times. So much can be held in a few words.

watercolour painting of woman with bird from The Barefoot book of classic poems

Still want to do that 32 page book of nursery rhymes.

illustration, not used, for My Heart is Like a Singing Bird

To order the book from Barefoot click on the book below.

 

book cover of The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems illustrated by Jackie Morris

running hare painting from the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems by Jackie Morris

 

 

 

 

To buy any of the books featured on this site

  • Order from your local bookshop. Small books shops are a treasure and face strong competition from the big sellers on line who buy at huge discounts. Nothing beats browsing around in a well stocked small bookshop, where you chance upon a gem that until then you had no idea you wanted.
  • Order on line either direct from publishers or from one of the big on-line booksellers
  • If you are after one of the books that is out of print try and find it on abebooks.com They have a fantastic resource for tracking down out of print books.
  • All of these books are available from your local library.




©Jackie Morris