There's A Lion In My Bathroom by Giles Paley-Phillips

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There's A Lion In My Bathroom by Giles Paley-Phillips

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Category: Children's Rhymes and Verse
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A fun collection of nonsense poetry, with some really nice touches. With a proportion of profits going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, it's well-worth a look.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 108 Date: August 2010
Publisher: Rebel Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0956503527

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This collection of nonsense poetry takes in all sorts of subjects, from wannabe magicians to armpits, and from failed cowboys to a girl with springs for feet. It's all very silly, all very nonsensical, and good fun.

Let's just leap in with the title poem, so you can get a real feel for what we're dealing with:

There's a lion in my bathroom, And I don't know what to do, Because I'm really scared to enter, But I'm desperate for the loo.

Teehee. The majority of the collection comprises short comic poems like that, but there are longer poems too. The standard throughout is remarkably consistent - no real weak points, although by the same token, there weren't many deep belly laughs. It brings to mind the poetry of Spike Milligan, which is a double-edged sword: it's a compliment to be thought of in such illustrious company, but there is always the temptation to dig out your old copy of The Bald Twit Lion instead. I particularly enjoyed Timbuktu with its cheesy pun conclusion, and My Girlfriend with its scarecrow love.

On a first reading to myself, I wasn't hugely impressed with the poems - some of the rhymes are a little obvious, some lines don't quite scan. As is so often the case with poems of this ilk, reading them aloud - especially to an appreciative audience - undoes many of the issues and leads to greater enjoyment. They're not classics, but they're enjoyable, and well-worth a look.

The accompanying illustrations from Matt Dawson (no, not the rugby player) are great, although the picture on the front cover doesn't do them justice. They're bold and exciting, and seem remarkably vibrant even though they're just black and white. The energetic style matches the poems perfectly, and helps set the fun mood. Greedy guts that I am, I would have liked even more illustrations as there's quite a lot of white space in the book, but those that are there are super.

The fact that a percentage of profits are going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is a big positive - we're delighted to see such a worthwhile cause being supported.

Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

For other silly poetry, Spike Milligan is the obvious choice. There's An Alien In The Classroom by Gervase Phinn is also worth a look. For slightly more serious poetry (albeit with plenty of glints in the eye), you'll love Michael Rosen's Big Book of Bad Things by Michael Rosen. Jim, Who Ran Away From His Nurse and Was Eaten By A Lion by Hilaire Belloc and Mini Grey is also a wonderful choice.

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