Now we are Six
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever. Quite a fitting quote for a Children’s Book Week in which the theme is “Forever Young”. It’s from A.A. Milne’s poem The End, printed in Now we are Six, one of his books of poetry for children. It was the very first poem I learned off by heart and I still think it’s brilliant. Brilliant in its simplicity, its rhyming and the sense of satisfaction it gives for being six. Why worry about getting any older than six when you’re as clever as clever?
What I like about Milne’s poems is that they remind us of just how curious children are and how busy their minds are. Exploring questions such as where wind comes from and who made God, and about being friends and growing old together, about being on your own and being together. And about marvellous nursery days – even if you never actually had a nursery yourself.
Don’t underestimate your audience. Ideas can be presented simply but still carry a deeper meaning.
The rhyming really is fantastic in all of Milne’s poems. Considering the book was first published in 1927, the words aren’t archaic. And there are some nonsense words that make perfect sense, such as sneezles and wheezles. Obviously, Milne is talking about sneezes and coughs. And you know, I’m quite sure that sneezles won’t develop into measles, but you’d have to read the poem Sneezles yourself to be sure.
The book is scattered with E.H. Shepard’s familiar line illustrations, which also include Winne-the-Pooh, Milne’s most famous creation. There’s even an apology from Pooh in the introduction in which he explains that he’d been looking for Piglet one day and had accidently sat down on some of the pages in the book by mistake. (As a child, I thought that was utterly believable.) The combination of Pooh and images of the nursery inspired me to rustle up some griddle scones – with honey of course!
225g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten with milk to make 150ml liquid
Mix flour and salt then gently rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar and mix to a soft dough with the egg and milk.
Knead the dough lightly then divide into three and roll each piece into a circle about ½ cm thick. Cut each circle into quarters.
Bake over a moderate heat on a greased griddle for about 2 minutes on each side. Serve hot, spread with butter and drizzled with honey.
(credits to Be-Ro Home Recipes)