by John Agard (Frances Lincoln)
Brilliant! John Agard is so clever. This behind-the-scenes look at some well known and popular traditional tales is more than a book of poems; it’s a collection of beautifully bizarre ideas, telling cultural references and wickedly wise words that bring those so-familiar characters from the past firmly into the 21st Century. The illustrations by Satoshi Kitamura are perfect – not a word I use unguardedly. The poet’s rich reading voice with its Caribbean cadences can be heard throughout the book. It’s a masterpiece, will become a classic collection and will probably be Number One in my list of Top Ten poetry books this year.