Friday, September 4, 2015

A Great Big Cuddle - Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen, Illustrated by Chris Riddell (Walker Books)

There's always room in your bookcase for poetry anthologies, but why should tinies miss out? Here's a book written and illustrated especially for bouncy little ones who love a rib-tickling rhyme or two!
When Charlotte was tiny, one of the things that first got her interested in books were stories that featured rhymes and repetition.

More than any other mechanism in children's stories, rhyme seems to make stories more magical, easier to remember, and of course it's always fun to read a tricky tongue twister or nonsense poem for the sheer hilarity of watching Mum or Dad trip over their words (because grown-ups think they're great at EVERYTHING, right?)

Michael Rosen is the sort of wordsmith whose poems we always pick out whenever we see children's poetry anthologies, so it's been fantastic to pick up a book that not only features Michael's zany brand of rhyme and silliness, but also features gorgeous illustrations by one of our favourite children's artists, Chris Riddell.

"A Great Big Cuddle - Poems for the Very Young" cleverly starts off with lots of wibbly-wobbly crazy poems full of energy and pizazz, moving on to slightly more complex stuff, and finally settling down with cuddly soothing stuff for kids to drift off to at nap time or bed time.

Some parents have told me in the past that they don't think kids are ready for poetry until their older. This is the perfect book to cut a dash right through that idea. Kids are absolutely ready for poetry as soon as they begin to listen to stories and appreciate that not only can you communicate with language, you can use it to have an awful lot of fun with too! After all, as we've previously mentioned, a lot of books for younger children use rhyme effectively, children swiftly learn and love to sing their favourite nursery rhymes and songs, so why wouldn't they love poetry too?

We love a big book, we love poetry long or short, serious or funny so even though the focus is on poems for children younger than Charlotte there was tons for her to enjoy (but oh would we ever love a follow up for 5+ kids - C'mon Chris and Michael, get to work!)

If you're a poetry-loving parent looking for a really great book to introduce poetry to your busy little ones and full of rambunctious rhymes accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, this should definitely be your first port of call.

Charlotte's favourite poem: "The Naughty Car" and "Bendy Man"

Daddy's favourite poem: "Oh Dear!"

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"A Great Big Cuddle - Poems for the Very Young"

Written by Michael Rosen

Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Published by Walker Books

Release Date: 3rd September 2015

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