Poetry is a wonderful way to get kids excited about words and language. And Daydreams and Jellybeans is a glorious collection of poems that just demand to be read out loud.
Each poem is a perfect portrayal of a real life and everyday situation with Alex Wharton’s imagination and creativity sparkling throughout. The poems flow and the words leap off the page. Readers of poetry will be familiar with many of the poetry forms and features; free verse, shape poems, verse, couplets, rhythm and rhyme. Newcomers to poetry will find the poems completely accessible and an absolute joyous introduction to poetry.
Poems range in theme from ones that are pure fun and joy to those that are full of emotion to those that will make you think. There are many poems about nature with snails, caterpillars, spiders, kingfishers, water, trees and butterflies all making an appearance. There are poems on natural wonders of the world including stars and the moon and the beauty of childhood is celebrated in poems such as ‘Jellybean’ and ‘Daydreams’. I particularly enjoyed ‘Letter from a Football’, ‘Maths Test’ and 'The Teacher Said’ - being a primary school teacher who loves football and maths perhaps these were obvious choices for me! Two of the more thoughtful poems are ‘Man In Town’ which is poignant, thoughtful, relevant and timely, and ‘Lost Smile’ which is a sombre and moving portrayal of emotions and feelings.
I love the inclusion of children’s work that features in the back of the book; the work by two children that were winners of a poetry competition is a great inspiration for other children to let their creative juices flow and pen their own poems.
Wharton’s poems are supported throughout by brilliant artwork by the talented Katy Riddell. The illustrations are playful and radiate warmth and charm - you can just tell that Riddell had a lot a fun creating them. The book is a real treat for eyes and ears.
Joyous, imaginative, and most of all, a great deal of fun. Publishes on the 28th January 2021.
Recommended for 9+.
With huge thanks to the lovely peeps at Firefly Press for the advanced reader copy that was obtained via Netgalley.