Friday 15 December 2017

ReadItDaddy's Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 15th December 2017: "Bonkers Ballads" by Colin West (Matador Publishing)

We really couldn't be happier to see a fantastic new collection from one of our fave children's poets, the inestimably brilliant Colin West...
Colin's poems have been a huge part of Charlotte's growing up and reading journey. When she was just beginning to love books, and particularly started to enjoy rhyming books it didn't take much to put two and two together and realise that it would be a great opportunity to introduce her to poetry.

When I was a kid, I grew up in the 1970s when folk like Spike Milligan, Willie Rushton, Roger McGough and of course Colin himself were writing amazing poetry anthologies for kids.

At school we used to get these book newsletters. Aeons before the Internet these were often one of the best ways for kids to learn about new books before they were released (though thankfully later on, book TV became more of a thing and I'd often end up gazing in awe at programmes like "The Book Tower" and "Jackanory" for even more inspiration).

Back to the subject at hand though, and the first time we encountered Colin's work was by getting to know him a bit on Twitter, and realising that he had a gift for producing hilariously brilliant rhymes coupled with the sort of enviable artistic illustrative style that served as the perfect accompaniment to his poems.

In "Bonkers Ballads" Colin offers up some cheeky nods and winks to fairy tales, knights of yore and mythical creatures.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, Colin's characters are mischievous, funny and in a couple of cases downright naughty - which of course makes them appeal even more to kids, who love that thrill of living vicariously through book characters.

With over 100 illustrations in Colin's awesome art style, it's the sort of anthology we just can't get enough of - and if you're looking for a superb entry point to get your own kids more interested in poetry and in particular devilishly clever rhymes, this is an awesome collection to get started on.

"Bonkers Ballads" by Colin West is out now, published by Matador (kindly sent for review).