Saturdays at the Imaginarium

I’m really excited to share with you my first book of poems for children, Saturdays at the Imaginarium, illustrated by the fabulous Jude Wisdom and published by Troika (2020).

It’s all about the power and potential of our imagination.

You can buy the book from all the usual places. If you’d like a signed copy, drop me a line.

Here’s what it says on the back cover

“In her first book of poems for children Shauna Darling Robertson celebrates creative thinking, encourages curiosity and revels in the pleasure of looking at things ever so slightly slant.

Discover a world in which ordinary things such as eating and adverts seem strange, while absurd things like teacups feeling unloved are quite commonplace. Birds can’t fly but thoughts can, a kid catches dreams in a net and the weather forecast predicts an ear-to-ear grin nearly two miles high. Oh, and undercover magicians operate on every high street.

Inventive, provocative and highly original, Saturdays at the Imaginarium asks big questions about how we think about ourselves, each other and the world. It invites children of all ages to explore the possibilities of their own vastly resourceful minds.”

A National Poetry Day Selection 2021
Shortlisted for the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award 2021
Nominated for a BookBlether.co.uk ‘Hidden Gems’ award

Here’s a trailer to give you a taster

Grab a free Imaginarium resource 

Click on the image to download a free resource for teaching and creative play, using a handful of poems from Saturdays at the Imaginarium.

It’s designed for teachers, librarians, book groups and parents (actually, anyone who’s interested) to use with children at around key stage 2. It includes ideas for reading, performing, reflecting, discussing, writing, drawing and more!

If you use any of these ideas, I’d love to know how you get on. If you’re up for it, why not share your experiences, and also any children’s work, by tagging @ShaunaDarRob on Twitter.

Imaginarium extras

On the Imaginarium extras page you can discover some more creative ideas and exercises based on poems in the book. These are taken from my blog (which also includes news about other books, projects and what-have-you). I’m hoping to add some more of these ‘extras’ when I get a bit of spare time.

There’s also a peek behind the scenes into the making of the book, and some audio recordings and videos too. 

Reviews

Some wonderful people have said some rather lovely things about the book, for which I’m very grateful. I hope you don’t mind if I share some of them here.

“Shauna’s poems are confident, persuasive and mischievous. They’ll grab your attention and lead you into worlds you never quite knew existed.” – Rachel Rooney

“An excellent poetry book for KS2 – should be in every class.” – Pie Corbett

“One of the most inventive, quirky and enjoyable poetry collections I’ve read for a while. Some wonderful gems for Key Stage Two to get stuck into.” – Jon Biddle, Reading for Pleasure 

“An astounding collection from one of the best imaginators around. You’ll want to stay in the Imaginarium until bedtime. And maybe have a sleepover too.” –
Roger Stevens


“Step out of your daily grind and into Shauna’s Imaginarium – where humdrum is injected with colour, feelings and emotions with clarity, and empathy is just how and where you need it to be. This is a fantastic work in every conceivable way, and what is more inside its covers I have found what is in my opinion THE PERFECT POEM  – but you can count on finding your own perfect poem there, too. Definitely a winner for the classroom and home – HIGHLY recommended!” – Liz Brownlee, PoetryRoundabout.com

“An innovative collection with lots of wordplay and imaginative juxtapositions. Both children and adults will enjoy its expansive and varied extravaganza of language. The illustrations are also absolutely gorgeous and work beautifully with the text. There’s a lot here for teachers to explore and some great models to use. A must for every classroom and everyone else as well.” – Sue Hardy-Dawson

“An adventure into a world that feels like an echo of a memory of a painting or novel by Leonora Carrington. It’s a beautiful balancing act of the surreal and the graspable, the everyday and the out-of-sight in-the-mind. But always there’s a light in the window to guide you to a home you never imagined before.” – A.F. Harrold

“A fine balance between choice language and wild invention, put together with enchanting illustrations. A ’valley-wide smile’ from me and a must for bookshelves at home and at school.”Chrissie Gittins “In her poems Shauna Darling Robertson [sits] on your shoulder quietly murmuring advice and devices for coping with what the world can throw at you while you’re still growing up.” – The Poetry Zone

“Escape into the magical worlds and imaginative wordplay of Shauna Darling Robertson in this excitingly original book, beautifully illustrated by Judith Wisdom. The perfect book of poetry to inspire young minds.” – Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Post

“A feast of wonder, imagination, possibility, defiance, strength and awe. There is such daring, such positivism; then there’s the language, the poetic dexterity, the variety of forms and the way words are used so powerfully, cleverly, enticingly. Shauna Darling Robertson’s wordplay, poetic skill and imagination burst from this power packed poetry debut. Bookwagon recommends Saturdays at the Imaginarium hugely; to be read, gifted, shared and loved.” – Bookwagon

“The mark of a great poem for me is if it leaves me thinking, I wish I’d written that. It happened to me many times when reading this book. It is the sort of children’s poetry book that should be on the shelves of all good book shops. Read these poems to children, they can’t fail to light a spark.”Brian Moses

“Welcome to Shauna Darling Robertson’s Imaginarium where she will introduce you to ideas, questions, possibilities that should not be… In other words she will excite your imagination exploring the ordinary so that it becomes extraordinary, playing with words, looking at the world sideways. These poems are fun – and yet offer serious thoughts. There are gems to be discovered here. This is Shauna Darling Robertson’s first collection for a younger audience. We look forward to more.”Books for Keeps

“Shauna’s world is full of surprises and astute comparisons. Playful language eases its way out of her pen; nothing is laboured. In the middle of dreamlike scenarios, there’s a grounding glimpse of reality, both the good and the bad. Shauna encourages us to embrace our various experiences, until we are ‘Dancing with Life’. ‘Saturdays at the Imaginarium’ is a complete adventure for all five senses, and another triumph of poetry and illustration working together, from Troika Books.”Coral Rumble

“A wonderful collection of poems to explore again and again. The poems play with words and ideas, often honing in on the everyday, but considering them with a quirky eye and plenty of originality. An imaginarium is a ‘place devoted to the imagination’ – an excellent way of describing this creative and thought-provoking collection of poems. All manner of ideas and thoughts are explored here in a collection of fabulous wonderings and reflections. There are illustrations throughout in black and white by Jude Wisdom and a delightful colour spread in the centre. These are as imaginative as the poems!”North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award 
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