Introducing Grampa Bear

Grampa Bear, 2

As a child myself, I loved books and stories of all kinds, and responded with particular enthusiasm to poetry with a catchy rhythm. As the eldest child in a family of seven, I had an early introduction to sharing my favourite childhood stories and verses with younger children – my siblings – and made the acquaintance of other writers I had not known myself. Continue reading Introducing Grampa Bear

A Tongue Twister – Betty Botter

I like tongue twisters. Do you? “Betty Botter” is one of my favourites. It was written by Caroline Wells and first published a long time ago, in 1899. The text below is as she wrote it, but there are other versions. The one I like, is slightly different.  Can you spot the differences?


But the point of a tongue twister, is to see how fast you can go, without tripping over your tongue. How quickly can you say this?

Betty Botter Betty Botta bought some butter; “But,” said she, “this butter’s bitter! If I put it in my batter It will make my batter bitter.

But a bit of better butter Will but make my batter better.” Then she bought a bit of butter Better than the bitter butter, Made her bitter batter better. So ´twas better Betty Botta bought a bit of better butter.

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The Table and the Chair (Edward Lear)

One of my favourite verses for reading aloud (or reciting) to young children is Edward Lear’s “The Table and the Chair”. I, and my daughters, were so fond of it, that I long ago had it firmly fixed in memory, and have often drawn on it, when wanting something for a new listener with no book supply available to hand.

The only real disadvantage of this choice as a bedtime verse, for young girls who really did not want to retire, was that the closing line is so pointed – I was seldom allowed actually voice it. More usually, young hands would be marshalled just before we got there, to cover my mouth and so forestall the dreaded words “…..and toddled to their beds”.

Continue reading The Table and the Chair (Edward Lear)