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This is the second of Walter de la Mare’s poems to be turned into a picture book by Carolina Rabei and her illustrations provide a rich setting. It’s Hallowe’en and ‘Up on their brooms the Witches stream/Crooked and black in the crescent’s gleam’. Sure enough, a line of witches race across the night sky on their broomsticks, while down below a party of jolly trick or treaters set out on their own night’s adventure. The two groups mirror one another, and the lines of the poem work equally for both. The night sky is portrayed in wonderful blues and purples, the centre spread in which the witches surge pell-mell down the Milky Way is particularly beautiful. De la Mare guides his witches through the constellations in his poem, and Rabei illustrates them all, the end papers providing readers with a very special chart of the night sky. ~ Andrea Reece
The world-famous rhymes starring cats such as Macavity the Mystery Cat and Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat are beautifully presented in this edition with illustrations by Axel Scheffler best-known for his pictures of the Gruffalo. Perfect for reading out loud, the poems about the practical cats are both humorous and affectionate, catching the quirky and familiar foibles of all cats. ~ Julia Eccleshare
A wonderful collection of poems from the much-loved creator of The Gruffalo, all of them perfect for reading aloud. There are funny poems (lots of those as you’d expect) and nonsense rhymes as well as story poems and quieter poems to get you thinking too. Nick Sharratt has great fun with the illustrations and Vera Victoria Vines, dressed up to the nines, is a particular treat, as is the crazy, mayonnaisy mum serving up ice cream with baked beans, and golden syrup with sardines! Julia Donaldson’s delight in poetry and the sound of words comes through on every page and is utterly contagious. ~ Andrea Reece
A joyful collection of poems for young children by an author who is completely in tune with her audience! Julia Donaldson celebrates the delights of going to the park, walking the dog, pizza, riding a bike and sliding down the bannisters in poems that are just perfect for reading out loud. Nick Sharratt’s illustrations have never looked brighter or more appealing and make the poems zing off the page. Definitely one to add to the picture book shelf and to return to over and over. ~ Andrea Reece
This stunning new edition of Edward’s Lear’s classic story poem makes a handsome pair to Julia Donaldson’ The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-cat which is also illustrated by Charlotte Voake. Every familiar of Lear’s tender and comical rhyme is perfectly picked up in the illustrations: the pea-green boat; the honey and money; the Piggy-wig with the ring at the end of his nose. A glorious final spread shows the happy pair dancing contentedly by the light of the moon! Julia Donaldson, who wrote The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-cat provides an additional introduction. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Isn’t it part of a dad’s job description to come out with cheesy sayings, that he thinks are really funny, but which make everyone else groan? Ask this dad what time it is, and he’ll tell you it’s time you got a watch. Say you feel like a milkshake and he’ll say you don’t look like one. Ask for a hand and he’ll start clapping. With engaging illustrations, as well as page after page of funny sayings, this is an unusual and affectionate way of celebrating family life, and could be the perfect Father’s Day gift for the wise-cracking dad in your life! ~ Andrea Reece
School life, families, football, aliens - these are some of performance poet David Harmer’s favourite things, all popular themes for his poems. Like the title poem to this collection, they are often presented with something of a ‘what if?’ warning, and readers should be ready for surprises – you might learn that granddad is an alien, or meet a pirate in Whitby Dock, or even see Father Christmas getting a parking ticket. Tucked in here too are reflective and rather lovely poems about the natural world, all characterised by Harmer’s keen eye. The collection lends itself nicely to bedtime reading, why not try one poem a night. ~ Andrea Reece
With magic tricks, incredible illusions and astonishing spectacles, both old and new fans will adore meeting the conjuring cat, Mr Mistoffelees, the second of the Old Possum's illustrated picture books. Arthur Robins brings this magical cat bursting to life. A perfect starter picture book to the wondrous stories to be found in the original Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. The picture books taken from Old Possum's Cats include - Macavity!Mr Mistoffelees The Conjuring CatSkimbleshanks The Railway Cat
From A-Z - Alligator to The Dog Runs (Zoom) - John Hegley has a witty, surprising and always entertaining poem for every letter. Wonderfully varied, there are poems about people, pets and all kinds of other creatures. In each of them John Hegley brings insights by highlighting particular characteristics. G is for Guillemot, in which the poem gives a visual image of the precipitous world in which the bird lives as well as describing its life; Christmas Caterpillar surprises Santa while Quibble will set all readers on a circular and quibbling conversation about exactly what is being described. A terrific anthology for diving into again and again.
Gaby Morgan has gathered together a really wonderful selection of poems about mums. There are over 50 in this little volume, some will make you smile, some will probably turn you a bit teary, but each one contains something true about mums and the relationship between mum and child (not to mention granny, step-mum and foster-mum and child too). Contributors range from the well-known – Brian Patten, Paul Cookson, Julia Donaldson, to new and lesser known names, and there are even a few written by children. It’s a book for sharing, and might even inspire children to write a poem for Mum themselves. Perfect for Mother’s Day of course, but too good just for that! ~ Andrea Reece Other lovely Mother's Day books are My Mum Says the Silliest Things and My Mummy.
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