A POEM about rabbits, chocolate and snuggling in bed has won a seven-year-old Darlington girl a top prize in a poetry competition.

Abbie Whitaker, of Alwent Close, entered the Darlington Rotary poetry competition – entitled ‘My Favourite Things’ – and is the winner of the 18 and under age group.

The best of the submitted poems has been published by Darlington Rotary in an anthology and Abbie won a copy of the booklet and a £25 Waterstones gift token, presented to her by the Rotary president, Peter Phillips.

Abbie, a pupil at Mowden School, is the competition’s youngest winner. She lives with mum, Sarah, dad Mark and her 11-year-old sister, Becky.

Abbie said that the ideas for the poem, which also lists dancing, baking and cake as some of her favourite things, ‘just popped into my head’ when she was composing it. 

“I read every day so I’d like to get some story books with my gift token,” she said.

Sarah said: “We were on holiday in Scotland when we got the news that she had won in her age group. She was so excited and of course we’re very proud of her.”

Poetry writing runs in the family and Sarah also submitted a poem which, although not a winner, also appears in the book.

Mr Phillips said: “We had around 80 poems sent from all over the country – London, Bristol, Hampshire, Newcastle - and we’re delighted that Abbie is a local winner. Her poem was so imaginative and lovely to read.”

There were more than 80 entries in the competition, with the final winners judged by Northern Echo columnist and author Peter Barron.

Winner of the 19-39 age group was Amy Luder, of Middleton St George, and the 40 and over category was won by John Griffiths, of Darlington.

The booklet is expected to raise more than £500, all of which goes to mainly local charities and good causes which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Copies, priced at £5 each, can be obtained by emailing dtonrotary@gmail.com.

Abbie’s poem can be read below:

My Favourite Things

I like rabbits, and I like cheese
I like dancing and climbing trees,
I like being happy with my friends,
I like dresses and the latest trends
I like chocolate and I like cake!
At the weekend I love to bake.
I like bouncing balloons on my head
But most of all, I like snuggling in my bed!