Review Blog

Jan 10 2012

An Imaginary Menagerie: Poems and drawings by Roger McGough

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Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2011. ISBN 9781847801661.
(Ages: 5 to 7 years) Here is a fun collection of poems written originally by Roger McGough in 1988. He has added some lively and very humorous line drawings to accompany most of the poems for this 2011 edition. The contents page lists the 72 poems, which have mainly one-word titles addressing each of the letters of the alphabet. Most titles name animals known to us, but McGough adds some, which stretch the imagination.  The 'c' entries are Camel, Canary, Catapillow, Chimp, Conger Eel. Playing with words and familiar situations, McGough's collection is great fun to read out loud and invites some poetry writing of our own.  At times I found some poems to be rather distant from the Australian experience, though he does include gems from 'Oz'; some seem also to show their age in terms of expressions and wordplay.  In summary it is wonderful to read a poetry collection that is accessible to the young reader, and there will inevitably be some instantaneous hits!
Julie Wells

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