Blast Off! by Carole Bromley (Small Donkey Books)
The title and the cover illustration led me to expect a book of space poems; happily this is not what I found. I say happily because there have been quite a few collections on that theme recently and I’m a little spaced out. And because this is a compilation of poems on a wide range of more interesting topics. There is an alien in a wardrobe and a rocket that rescues the writer from maths homework. But there is also a piece of chalk which comes alive after school, a family of geeks, a naughty adventure with a pair of scissors (who hasn’t secretly wanted to cut their counterpane and then their hair – or even done it?) and a bug hunt which includes my favourite line ‘a spider lying in wait on a tense thread’. Reworked nursery rhymes and fairy tales complete a satisfying collection. The poems are about feelings, as well as things. One little niggle from me – are we really now writing ‘bored of’? If we are, I wish we weren’t! And is ‘counterpane’ a rather old-fashioned word? Nothing wrong with old-fashioned; just asking . . . Nice illustrations by Cathy Benson.