Review Blog

Jul 23 2012

Come into this poem by Tony Mitton

cover image

Francis Lincoln Children's Books, 2011
Recommended. Tony Mitton is a well established, highly skilled poet and children's author, with many books to his name. This book of poetry demonstrates his versatility and literary skill. Combining high level literary skills as well as whimsy and appeal to children these poems make good poetry accessible to all ages.
 I loved reading The road I tread is hard and long/ And now my heart beats not so strong, a serenade to sleep; while Invisible ink is reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's wacky humour. There is also pathos in an ode to Glengorm, presenting a brief picture of the Highland Clearances, alongside awe-inspiring observations on the simplest natural features found in a garden. Note Seed Spell : 'Bury me dark, bury me deep./Let me lie a while asleep . . . Let my root stretch out, uncoil/ sifting nurture from the soil'.
On the other hand I can just see young children performing Big red boots at school assemblies or having a go at describing Dark after reading this poem. Then there are the poems based on folklore from Chinese, Japanese and Celtic sources.
This slim volume is a treasure trove of ideas for teachers and models of great writing. Above all it's just fun to read to children and will help them develop a love of language and poetry.
Diana Warwick

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