|How to be a Tiger by George Szirtes and Tim Archbold|
|Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Joyfully old-fashioned, to a point, this collection of new modern verse for the very young will be kept until those who had it read to them are declaiming it for themselves.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: February 2017|
|Publisher: Otter-Barry Books|
Wet again, yet again! Down it drips, little fingertips, tapping and snapping as if the rain were cross.
See the branches toss? See the puddles grow? Has it stopped raining? NO.
Yes, sometimes only a quote will do. After all, we do come to poetry for snappy concision, and that's what we get here…
I didn't honestly expect to see the like again, but this is so much like the odd couple of poetry books I remember from my first shelves at home – solid verse content, yet heavy on the (quality) illustrations; an immeasurable variety; and the chance for the reader to pick her or his favourite from any number, a favourite which will only change with the seasons.
Speaking of the seasons, here is a cycle round the calendar of trips to the park. Here is nature verse regarding birds in flight, and both moon- and sunlight. Here is an exhortation to us to be pesky and climb things, to love our name, and to obey classroom etiquette. We go running, we climb swings, and experience both Christmas, birthdays and Hallowe'en. All comes in a very readable fashion, and I use that latter word advisedly – this is much more modern than those books I once owned. A lot of the time you get a fixed rhythm, and/or definite rhymes, but with switches to the metre or some plainer verses you find things are much freer than the poems we learned way back when. Things get even trendier and on-message near the end, with some free verse versions of typical fairy tales – and although I didn't rate them so highly I can see that with their help the young audience for this book will immediately have a heads-up in appreciating all the different styles of poetry that are more the fashion these days.
With comedy verse, and an affecting lullaby for stormy times, there is definitely that aforementioned variety to be had here, all crying out to be read aloud. Speaking of reading aloud, you pronounce the author's surname more like Sir Tesh than it looks, he being Hungarian originally. I only say that so you can posit the choice One more Sir Tesh before bed? I can only see the answer being in the positive.
I must thank the publisher for my review copy.
Over the Hills and Far Away by Elizabeth Hammill (Editor) likewise stamps its claim to become a family heirloom.
You can read more book reviews or buy How to be a Tiger by George Szirtes and Tim Archbold at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy How to be a Tiger by George Szirtes and Tim Archbold at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.