Astro Poetica by Dom Conlon

Astro Poetica, written by Dom Conlon, and beautifully illustrated in full colour throughout by Jools Wilson, is a book that sparkles with poems about the skies, the planets, the stars, the universe, and everything.

I found myself contemplating afterwards about some of these poems, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with memories or trains of thought they had inspired; a sign of good writing.

Some of the poems are perfect to share with children – some of them seem aimed at an older audience, but there is plenty in here for all age groups.

Here is one of my favourites:

 

Space Sound

 

In space you hear nothing

when wonders happen

like a star exploding

or asteroids crashing

or a black hole sucking

or a rocket zooming

or galaxies colliding.

 

But if we look up

at the right moment

and stand beside the right person

and listen at the right time

we might hear the sound

of someone whispering

“You mean more to me

than all of this.”

 

© Dom Conlon

 

Available here.

 

Posted in Favourite Children's Poetry, Poetry Book Parade

Bonkers Ballads by Colin West

A fair while ago, although it seems like yesterday, Colin West’s picture books were real favourites with my two children. His poems, found in anthologies, were a favourite with me, too.

Many years later, when I had also become a poet, we met on Facebook – where the author turns out to be every bit as charming and delightful as his work.

You can recognise a Colin West poem even if it is unattributed – probably one of the highest recommendations it is possible to give. They are by turns surreal, nonsensical, entertaining and hilarious, and all are clever and fun.

And the tradition carries on! His latest hysterical, historical book of ‘bonkers ballads’ is populated with mischievous miscreants, including a dispirited spook, a natty knight and a young King Cole. All the ballads make you laugh out loud, and the wonderful full-colour illustrations complement and conflate with the poems to make every page a masterpiece of humorous verse.

You don’t get colour illustrations in a book of modern poetry very often, particularly one guaranteed to tickle your tonsils all the way through.

Available here.

Posted in Poetry Book Parade

Blast Off!

From a new imprint of Smith/Doorstop for children’s poetry, Small Donkey, Blast off is by newcomer Carole Bromley.

It is illustrated by the detailed and charming ink drawings of Cathy Benson, who illustrated most of the children’s poetry published by the late Gerard Benson.

There’s a poem for every mood in this book – warm, funny, exploring many of the concerns pertaining to primary children, it feels like a hug.

Suitable for younger readers round the fire with mum and dad or for older primary readers on their own.

Here’s poem from the mix to judge for yourselves!

 

DIY Zoo Poem

 

I went to the zoo and looked in a cage,

Beware of these tigers. They get in a  —-

 

I went to the zoo and looked in the pool.

Not a fish in sight, I felt such a —-

 

I went to visit the elephant house.

nothing in there, just a little grey —–

 

I followed a sign This way to the apes.

not a monkey around to eat my ——

 

I nagged and nagged to see a giraffe

but my father said You’re having a —–

 

they’re all fast asleep like the chimpanzees

and the sloths and koalas up in the —–

 

and the Emperor Penguins in their box

but the owls and the bats and the arctic —

 

are all wide awake cos they think it’s night,

so whatever you do, don’t switch on the —–

 

 

© Carole Bromley 2017