The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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‘Ejja nsajru poeżija’

Tuesday, 10 January 2023, 14:22 Last update: about 2 years ago

Author: Trevor Zahra. Publisher: Merlin Publishers

Trevor Żahra is of course possibly Malta's best-known author. And yet, we think of him often as a children's author, even as an author for adults, but we many times forget that he started out with poetry and has penned some of the best-loved poems for children to enjoy. His latest book, Ejja nsajru poeżija, is a book filled with poems for children to enjoy, where the key word is indeed "enjoyment".

The poems in this book are, literally, moulded in different shapes. Żahra creates an interactive book with which children can have fun while also learning the different ways to forge words and sentences.

Ejja nsajru poeżija - let's cook a poem. What does this even mean? There are a lot of themes that are presented to us, mixed to create the ultimate recipe - the book. Żahra incorporates a wide range of words, creating something tasty for everyone to enjoy. We experience Żahra's playful way with words, combined with a play of grammar rules. His poems are fun, creative and humorous.

There are all sorts of comparisons in this book. Colours portray emotions. Animals portray characters and the caterpillar's journey is described by time. Żahra also compares his generation to today's generations - and uses these as a starting point to highlight the change in time and imagination.

The second part of the book is, yet again, different. The poems in this section include a QR Code which, when scanned, redirects to a page online where the poems are read out loud, combined with sound and visual effects. These videos were originally created as part of a project by the National Literacy Agency. If you have a child reluctant to read poetry, show him these poems, let them play around with the QR Codes and enjoy the videos, and you'll see how their perception of poetry will change!

This book is an excellent tool for teachers to incorporate into their teaching. In fact, Merlin Publishers and Żahra have put together a set of resources for teachers with guidelines and ideas on how the poems may be used in class. These resources are available free of charge as a download via a link found in the book itself.

Ejja nsajru poeżija, published by Merlin Publishers, was co-financed by the National Literacy Agency, and is available from all bookshops as well as online from merlinpublishers.com


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