Posted in Poetry Review

The Girl Who Became a Tree, by Joseph Coelho, Book Review

Out today, The Girl Who Became a Tree is an extraordinary verse novel about Daphne, a young teen whose father has died. Daphne disappears into her phone screen, library and imagination – shutting out the world, she avoids her sorrow by becoming the tree for which she was named by her father (from the legend of Daphne, who turns into a tree to avoid the attentions of Apollo). Stricken by her loss and inability to leave the river of her father’s comfort, the book interweaves the legendary Daphne with Daphne today’s slow return from the loneliness of grief with the solace of nature, and books.

The illustrations by Kate Millner are fantastic and are an excellent foil to the haunting text – which has been told in a variety of poetic forms.

Excellent.

The Girl Who Became a Tree by Joseph Coelho is published by Otter-Barry and is available here.

Posted in Poetry Review

Belonging Street by Mandy Coe, Book Review

 

YOU ARE HERE

 

In the car park is a map of your town.

Everyone presses their finger

on the red dot that says,

You are here.

 

And here you are!

Inside your shoes, inside your skin

and beneath your hair,

on freshly cut grass, a double-decker bus,

or in bed, slipping into a dream.

 

In a map of your day

you are here, bookmarking

this page, passing ginger biscuits,

dodging umbrellas

as you dash through the rain.

 

You are blowing on a hot chip

and laughing with a friend.

Breathe in the smell of vinegar

and place your finger on this moment.

 

You are here, you are here!

 

© Mandy Coe

 

This is a gentle, relatable book full of humour and the wonder of being alive – to quote another of the poems ‘wrap it around you to keep you warm’.

There are many lovely, finely observed poems in here to share between parents and children, and poems that can be used as models for children’s own writing in school.

5 Stars – highly recommended for young people 5-9!

Belonging Street is published by Otter-Barry Books and is full of playful, detailed illustrations by Mandy Coe herself.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2018

Otter-Barry Books to Publish Official National Poetry Day Anthology

Independent publisher Otter-Barry Books will be publishing Poetry For a Change, the official children’s anthology for National Poetry Day on 4th October.

National Poetry Day encourages everyone to read, share and enjoy poems on one special day each year.

There are a number of National Poetry Day Ambassadors who do their very best to spread the joy on NPD and throughout the week of NPD – and indeed, throughout the year. Those ambassadors have each written a poem and chosen a poem on the theme of ‘change’ to go in the book, which is beautifully illustrated by Chie Hosaka.

See some of the beautiful poems and illustrations on the Otter-Barry link.

 

Posted in International Womens Day

Poem for #InternationalWomensDay – To My Daughters, by Sue Hardy-Dawson

To My Daughters

Girls rejoice, I did not wish you other,
though there is so much blood from birth to birth,
and the moon’s monthly shadow, I love you.
Some say we have it easy here, some do.
At best it’s luck really. Then there’s the whole
in His own image thing. Give me a Her
sweet Mother Earth, Mother Nature, they scold
but at least they nurture. Brothers, fathers
you are still our blood sisters. Look to your
daughters, are they not both clever and so
beautiful? Do not squander such wise gifts
do not mock us, we cannot help our breasts
no more than you, your lack, remember this
even snakes have forgotten the apple.

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© Sue Hardy-Dawson 2016

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Sue’s lovely book, Where Zebras Go, Otter-Barry, can be found here.