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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.
The poems that make up this collection were first published in 1913 but it was not until 1946 that it was published, as it is in this new edition, with Edward Ardizzone’s illustrations. Though de la Mare’s poems describe a variety of subjects, there’s a unity to the collection that makes it read almost like a song-cycle. Ardizzone’s drawings enhance that, making Peacock Pie, in the view of children’s literature expert Brian Alderson, ‘one of the most satisfying children’s books of the twentieth century’. Certainly the poems deserve to be lived with whole, and the drawings – in choice of subject and viewpoint, response to character and setting – are simply perfect. There should be a place for this on every child’s bookshelf. ~ Andrea Reece
An attractive volume of Edward Lear’s best-loved and timeless limericks all of which are brilliantly realised in Arthur Robins witty illustrations. The collection opens with: “There was an Old Man with a beard,/ Who said, “It is just as I feared!-/ Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,/ Have built their nests in my beard!”. It also includes a wonderful array of other equally inventive, witty and barmy verses to tickle the senses and inspire a love of this kind of verse.
Shortlisted for 2015 CLPE Poetry Award - the only award in the UK for published children's poetry - Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece. A list of top books for children wouldn’t be complete without a poetry book and I’ve chosen this new collection from Rachel Rooney, who won the 2012 CLPE Poetry Prize. Rooney is a very exciting new voice. There are poems here on a range of subjects and themes, including some about poetry itself. Mostly short, often rhyming, they play affectionate games with language. There are laugh out loud poems, and lots for sharing, but this is also collection to take into a quiet corner and relish. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - Winner of the English Association 2013 Prize (Fiction 7-11) Best-selling author Michael Morpurgo’s touching story of a young girl’s exploration of the countryside provides a lyrical link for this rich and varied collection of poems about the countryside which have been selected by Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare.Following the story provides a path and introduction to each; they can also be readily appreciated by dipping in and finding familiar and unfamiliar gems. Beautifully produced, the illustrations throughout the book capture the changing seasons and changing moods of the countryside in what becomes, overall, a glorious celebration. Stop press... Michael will be appearing at the Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 11th October. Click here to find out more. Further information from the Cheltenham Festival.