The toasty summer’s breeze dances through my long untamed hair as I sit in the garden having a tea party with my beloved friends. Mum is in the kitchen cooking dinner, Dad is watching Gladiators on the telly and my Brother is up in his room playing computer games. I am happy and content as I pour Pink Panther some more tea and set about making another daisy chain. I open my eyes and see a tower of dirty laundry and dishes eagerly waiting for my expertise. Lovely! I am back to the present.
This week I am reviewing a book that took me back to my childhood. The fantastic people at Romo Press have sent me a copy of Poems For Children By Susan Kassabian. Thank you and as always much appreciated.
Kassabian is the author of the prize-winning children’s novel, The Mummy Of Mulberry Avenue which I will also be reviewing soon on my blog. I am beyond excited as she is currently working on a sequel and a second book of poetry. Read till the end for an exclusive offer! A FREE BOOK!
Poems For Children was just the breath of fresh air I needed. So often I get caught up in being an adult, paying bills, working, cleaning, an endless mundane list of stuff that needs to be done, unfortunately. But when I curled up on the sofa with my boys and we read Poems For Children, I was reminded what it was like to be young and carefree. Kassabian really captures the innocence and how small things are extremely important to a child like saving up for glitter crayons or being told a secret. Oh, they were the days weren’t they dear reader.
Kassabian writes the imagination of a child beautifully. They see the world so differently to adults, it’s a place of wonder and magic with adventure round every corner. Being an adult and growing up sucks really doesn’t it? We wake up one day and instead of having chocolate cereal for breakfast, we are faced with a glass of green liquified slop. Mmm Yum. That is why I love the use of imagery Kassabian employs. It reminded me that the child in me would not be seen dead eating anything that wasn’t coated in sugar before 8am.
I found myself asking, how is it that little things like bubbles or balloons would always turn a bad day into a good one when I was younger? Why doesn’t it have the same effect now? When I read May-Day Garden Fete I kept questioning when did it all stop? When did I stop having fun by simply throwing hoops to win a can of cola or having a go on the tombola? When did it get all so serious? It’s strange isn’t it. But I didn’t get the chance to think for too long as I had my eldest wanting to read more and then go for a kick about in the garden. Maybe that’s what the problem is. Thinking too much. Something all adults do to an extent that it should be an Olympic sport.
I really admire how poetry such as this can open my eyes and make me see beyond the black and white. To see the colour, the spark that life has to offer. How imaginative and interesting the world can be. In The Coat On The Door, the coat one minute looks like a ghost and then suddenly a witch. The same theme appears in The Mark on the Wall, are they claw marks or a creepy smile? It’s bliss to read and to know that life is what you make it. Sometimes we just need a child to remind us that.
Poems For Children appeals to children because it handles a lot of first experiences, for example death of a much-loved pet. Yet it still manages to keep it lighthearted, like the innocence of a child which fitted perfectly. In My Goldfish I had to have a little giggle at the last two lines as I could see my younger self thinking something similar.
I hope she doesn’t dig him up,
I wouldn’t like to feel
I’d gone to all that trouble just
To give a cat a meal!
It’s not only relatable to children but to adults aswell because they have those memories too. They can share with own children as they read along. These poems are all about life as a child and I was instantly transported back to my childhood, the excitement of going to a theme park, the morning rush to school, being left out of a party, wanting the same bag as your friend, tasteless school dinners with hidden grey hairs, being chosen to be Joseph One in your school’s Nativity play, just everything you can think of that is the PVA glue holding together your childhood.
My favourite poem has got to be The Night-Takers,
The Night-takers come in the deep of the night,
When darkness has gobbled up all of the light,
Through gaps in the floorboards and skirting they creep,
And make off with children who won’t go to sleep.
Those children who stay up at night eating sweets
And reading by torchlight snug under sheets,
When dark gathers round them they’d better beware
Lest the Night-takers carry them off to their lair.
They’d better make sure that their fingers and toes
Are safe under covers for everyone knows
That the Night-takers’ jaws have a terrible bite,
They’ll snap them right off if they’re not tucked in tight!
Those children who like to remain wide awake –
I hope they’re not easily scared for their sake,
That scratching they hear at their windows and doors
Just might be the sound of the Night-takers’ claws!
Child me would be hiding under the duvet, camped out with a torch, cookies and a good book in fear of being snatched away in the dead of night. I kept thinking of Roald Dahl as I read this poem. He never fails to make my spine shiver like in The Witches, and this poem did exactly that. I love it! Kassabian knows how to write for children and does an exceptionally good job seeing the world through their eyes. Colourful, intrigued and dangerous!
Thank you for reminding me so much of my childhood and how much creativity there still is in the world. I will now spend less time worrying about silly things like the washing up and instead will make more mud pies with my boys. To remember what it feels like to be a kid again and have some fun. I can’t thank you enough, I feel like my younger self has thrown a snowball dead centre at my face, shocking my system into remembering how much fun and innocent life can be.
See for yourself dear readers, grab a copy here and relive your childhood. I will be waiting in my den I made in the lounge and yes, you are invited to my tea party.
Poems for Children
The fabulous people at Romo Press are giving my readers an exclusive offer. You are offered the chance to get Susan Kassabian’s prize-winning novel, The Mummy Of Mulberry Avenue FOR FREE! How awesome is that dear readers?! All you have to do is leave a review of Poems For Children on Amazon. Simple and a free book! What more could you ask for! Click here to order yourself a copy.
The Mummy of Mulberry Avenue
I am off to play Pooh sticks with my boys and then after hop to the corner shop for some penny sweets as we are having a feast in the garden with Batman and Spider-Man.
Hop hop wiggle wiggle