Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Young Poets Inspired by Wildlife for New Born Free Book

Poetry book

The Born Free Foundation has teamed-up with ‘Paws n Claws Publishing’ to produce an enchanting collection of children’s poetry to mark its 30th anniversary.

‘Wild About Animals’ launched at a very special event in London on 13th December, and was attended by over 60 of the young poets and their proud families. Having penned wildlife-inspired works especially for the competition, the event, hosted at the stunning Amba Hotel, Charing Cross, was a great opportunity for the children to celebrate seeing their poems in print.

The event was attended by some of the competition’s celebrity judges, including Virginia McKenna OBE; Children’s author Debz Hobbs-Wyatt; celebrated poet Brian Patten; author and artist Lauren St John and Born Free’s Poet in Residence, Richard Bonfield, all of whom were delighted to be able to hand out certificates and prizes, and personally congratulate the young poets.

‘Wild About Animals’ showcases poems by children ranging from Year 3 to Year 9, with a winner, runners-up and highly commended poets selected from each of the age categories. Winners, who were presented with a copy of the book, were: Ethan Pettifer, from Northampton (Year 3); Aliya Hamdani, from London (Year 4); Amethyst Thakrar, from Lewes (Year 5); Sophien Amrani, from Harrow (Year 6); Francesca Muggli, from Portugal (Year 7); Shara Burns, from Romford (Year 8) and Juliette Fraser, from Tonbridge (Year 9).

The competition attracted entries from all around the world. Year 7 student Dulanya Cooray travelled with her family all the way from Mt Lavinia in Sri Lanka to attend the launch, and other international entries came from Zambia, Portugal, Ireland, South Africa, and Dubai.

Virginia McKenna said: “I was bowled over by the depth of imagination, the maturity of concept, the economy and precise use of language for children so young.” Fellow judge, Pam Ayres MBE added: “I was delighted and enthralled by all these poems. I think the future of poetry is in safe hands!”

‘Wild About Animals’ is available to buy directly from the Born Free website, with all royalties going to the Born Free Foundation. Visit:


Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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