Poetry Box Celebrates NZ Bookshop Week: I am a Poetato

Poetry Box October poem challenge here

CELEBRATION TIME: help me celebrate Bookshop Week (details here). Open to adults and children! Writers, readers, librarians, booksellers, mums dads, grans, aunts, uncles, grandads, children.
This book is fun!

You can send me a paragraph on a children’s poetry book you love, and I will post some on Saturday October 8th, NZ Bookshop Day. I will give some books away, and every day I will buy a children’s poetry book online from a different shop.

Each day this week, I am celebrating a children’s poetry book I have recently bought from Dorothy Butler’s (as my Roar Squeak Purr treat)!

FIRST UP: I Am a Poetato: An A-Z of poems about people, pets and other creatures by John Hegley.

I Am a Poetato, John Hegley, Otter-Barry (2022, 2013J

I so love the title of this astonishing book – so inventive and funny! I also love the quirky doodle-y fascinating cover. This book was published in the UK in 2013 and was reissued this year! I can see why.

John’s poems are equally cool. They don’t stick to one tone, one voice, one style. They leap and crawl, snake and sizzle, chuckle and frown, tumble-turn and stretch! The poems break rules and make rules. They get you thinking and they make you grin. It is word witty and word wise, and possibly the most inventive poetry book for children I have come across in eons.

I mean John writes a poem about The Bird (Charlie Parker) linking jazz and poetry, a Ham STAR, Armadeus the Daffadillo, a Tabby Cat called TIBBY, ‘the horsie that will become a horse in due course’. There is a French Nana from Nice who names the goldfish Kiki and Koko: ‘these names were a little piece of France left in our home / along with the French windows, / which didn’t have any names either.’

There is even a spotty zebra without a single stripe!

This book makes me dance a JIG of POEM happiness because it is so ZANY and ACROBATIC and MILKY WAY SPLENDID (think loads of gleamy shiny bits).

Otter-Barry page

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