Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Funniest Stuff by Colin West (Matador Publishing)

Living legend Colin West is back with an utterly superb compilation of poems to tickle your funny bone, make you giggle and also make you muse on this strange journey we call life...! It's "The Funniest Stuff" indeed!
When I was a kid, growing up in the grey and sometimes grim 1970s, books were a fantastic way to escape into worlds where there was fun to be had, where colour reigned supreme, and your imagination was spurred into action as you lost yourself in the pages of a fabulous story.

Weirdly though, I remember being the only kid early on in my class at Bounds Green Junior School who loved poetry.

Back then my staple fodder often consisted of those awesome poetry compilations often published by Methuen and others, always full of cartoon drawings to accompany the rhymes. I swiftly developed a taste for the hilarity of Spike Milligan's quirky and crazy observations of human and animal behaviour and I still love a poem that borders between sheer genius and madcap insanity.

The lure for me was the cleverness of using our quirky eccentric language to twist your tongue, to provide a thrumming rhythm to a short tale of happiness (or sometimes woe) befalling a character or two.

Charlotte's earliest introduction to poetry was similar. As well as the rhyming picture books she used to favour she very quickly began to love having funny poetry read to her, even in the early days before her language skills were fully developed. Perhaps it's the sound of someone reading, and someone obviously expressing joy when a rhyme just 'fits' and is a pleasure to trip off the tongue.

So it is with Colin West's awesome and hilarious poetry. He's featured many times on the blog (and rightly so) and his latest awesome compilation "The Funniest Stuff" has been making us giggle and smile since it plopped through our letterbox (signed too, thank you SO MUCH you awesome awesome dude!)

Colin West - a very very funny guy indeed!
Colin has once again assembled a crazy collection of characters, chronicled in a mix of short punchy and funny rhymes, with longer rhythmic repeating verses mixed in for good measure. Like an exquisitely assembled cake, Colin has combined his fabulous drawing style (in colour too - and looking SO GOOD!) with rhymes covering just about every subject you can think of (From fat jolly uncles to crisp-loving little girls, aunties wrestling gorillas to a joke-playing boy who meets his comeuppance.

Books like this are lovely to dip into when you need a smile or a grin. The big problem we always have is that we'll sit down to read "just a couple" of poems and end up reading one after the other again and again because there's always something on the next page to keep you amused and hooked in.

Getting kids addicted to poetry is a fantastic idea and anything that makes Charlotte laugh (and me, of course) is an instant win!

"The Funniest Stuff" by Colin West is out now, published by Matador Books.

Charlotte's favourite poem: A certain poem about a crisp-loving girl that had Charlotte skipping to school shouting "CHEESE AND ONION, CHEESE AND ONION!" at the top of her voice (much to the amusement of her friends).

Daddy's favourite poem: A work of genius, I absolutely loved "O How I hate the poet", polished off with a resounding "hear hear!"

(Kindly sent for review)