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Shortlisted for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award 2018 This second solo collection from Joseph Coelho, Overheard in a Tower Block, explores further some of the themes from Werewolf Club Rules (which won the CLiPPA in 2015). More suited to an older reader than that first collection, this is an extraordinarily powerful and moving book. Each poem offers us glimpses into the life of the main character as he grows, over the course of the collection, from young boy through adolescence to adulthood. The ingenious threading of fantasy, story, myth and magic throughout the poems only illuminates further the challenges and hardships of this young man’s life, but ultimately concludes in moments of optimism, joy and possibility.
They’re all here in this sometimes funny, sometimes touching, often surprising new collection: the Abracadabra Dad; the Jukebox Dad; the Pirate Dad and the Prison Dad; the Refugee Dad and the Rollercoaster Dad; right through to the Zen Dad and the Zzzz Dad. Using a wide variety of forms, Justin Coe parades 50 or more different fathers in front of his readers in poems that will make them laugh, smile, think or just nod in recognition. Not all of these dads are lovable, but there’s no doubt that they all feel real, and this is a collection that is well worth close reading. ~ Andrea Reece
Both an engaging guidebook to the major sights of our capital city and a collection of new London poems, this is a lovely book to read aloud and to look at. Sam Usher’s attractive pen and watercolour illustrations catch the beauty and grandeur of the city as well as its energy, its busyness made particularly appealing here. They are an excellent accompaniment to Patricia Toht’s poems which show us the city through a child’s excited gaze, from the London Eye, ‘a bracelet that hangs off the arm of the Thames’, to Piccadilly Circus in the rain. She takes particular pleasure in the various sounds of the city, from the bonnng of Big Ben to the ‘Hisssss. Ka-thunk’ of closing tube doors. ~ Andrea Reece
Poems that span the globe encouraging all readers to look at the good and the bad aspects of it make this a rich and original anthology. Twinning the themes of the wonders of the world and the horrors of how we despoil it means that the poems are both celebratory and angry. That leads to an interesting contradictions of styles and moods. Piet Grobler’s vibrant illustrations bring the feel of different countries to life. ~ Julia Eccleshare
A delightful board book with simple rhyming text and engaging interactive pictures. Children will be able to find characters that are mentioned in the text, such as Mother Hubbard and Cinderella. Wonderful detail in the illustrations provides endless entertainment in that with each view you find yet more in them – so clever and yet so simply done. Janet was an artist extraordinaire whose life was sadly cut short by illness some years ago. ~ Julia Eccleshare Kate Greenaway Medal winner in 1978.
A stunning collection of poems for children by the Poet Laureate. Carol Ann Duffy’s collection opens with ‘The Words of Poems’, which is a perfect introduction to the feast of delights found within this anthology. Duffy’s poems encompass everything from ‘The Good Child’s Guide to Rock’n’ Roll’, which is at least as much fun for adults as children, and the more obviously child directed, ‘The Sock’. This really is an anthology to treasure. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Joshua Seigal is a rising star in the children’s poetry world and this new collection of his poems will be a real crowd-pleaser. Many of them are crying out to be read aloud, Brontosaurus for example, with its Stomp Swamp Chomp chorus, or My Dog Eats Spaghetti, but others are quieter, to be read, considered and remembered. He has particular fun with shape poems, of which there are many, look out for the Fruit Bat and Bat’s Fruit pairing! For children inspired to write their own poetry – and Seigal certainly makes it look fun – there are useful tips and suggestions included too. ~ Andrea Reece
Brian Moses is one of our most widely read and popular poets, a regular visitor to schools and festivals. This collection gathers together over 100 of his best poems. It includes some of the poems that make his public performances such barnstorming hits – Walking With My Iguana, What Teachers Wear in Bed – but also more thoughtful poems, such as the beautiful title poem Lost Magic, with its mournful refrain ‘but there are no unicorns now’. My favourite is probably The Bonfire at Barton Point, a vivid description of a particular moment of childhood, but everyone will have their own. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award 2018 Get ready to join in the Poetry Olympics, question a snake, talk to a toad and learn 20 ways to avoid monsters and mythical beasts. Where Zebras Go will lead you leads you on a magical journey across the savannah, into fairytale realms, back into the playground and through the seasons, introducing a whole host of animals along the way. An exciting debut collection from an up-and-coming poet, covering wide-ranging themes with humour and fun.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2017 T.S Eliot’s best-loved verses, originally published in an anthology, work brilliantly singly in this attractive series of picture books. In Jellicle Cats Arthur Robins captures the wit of the delightful nonsense at the heart of The Song of the Jellicles. How the Jellicle Cats celebrate at the Jellicle Ball when the Jellicle Moon comes out is delightfully demonstrated in his exuberant line illustrations. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2017 Jellicle Cats by T.S. Eliot and Arthur Robins William Bee's Wonderful World of Trucks by William Bee The Story of the Dancing Frog by Quentin Blake George's Marvellous Experiments inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley Many Moons by Remi Courgeon Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer by Alexanda McCall Smith Black Cats and Butlers by Janine Beacham Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Yes, there’s a poem to a space cadet in this typically lively, inviting and memorable new collection from James Carter; but it’s an ode not to an astronaut but to a dreamer, someone whose head is firmly in a cloud. This whole collection is full of surprises, unexpected heroes and the joy of dreaming. In a poem called ‘Hey,Poem!’ Carter exhorts it: ‘poem, work your magic, do – but most of all say something NEW …’. His poems will work their magic on all readers, and each one finds something new to say, and the perfect way to say it. A treat from first page to last. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award What a wonderful book to give to a child. It’s one which will inspire a real interest in nature and the creatures that share our planet, as well as an appreciation of art and poetry. Nicola Davies shares her delight in animals in specially written poems, each of which is illustrated by Petr Horacek across dazzling double pages. Grouped by themes such as colours and shapes, or animals in action, creatures big and small are vividly brought to life, from the whale shark, ‘like a piece of fallen starry sky’ to a barn owl, ‘quiet as the floating moon’. The images are breath-taking, full of movement and colour; the poems too are varied and memorable, sometimes precise, sometimes ethereal. It’s a book that recipients will treasure into adulthood. ~ Andrea Reece
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