Take five

3rd November 2000 at 00:00
THE PUFFIN BOOK OF AMAZING ANIMAL POEMS. Illustrated by various artists. Puffin Pounds. 12.99 hbk.

Pets, jungle creatures, farmyard friends, creepy-crawlies and many others are to be found in this highly coloured, fast-moving, good-value book. Some of the verses are much better than others and it's good to report that Tennyson can still, in "The Eagle", raise gooseflesh. This would make a fun Christmas present.

THE GOLDEN TREASURY. Edited by Francis Turner Palgrave. Palgrave. pound;7.99 pbk.

A facsimile of a very old favourite. I've had my aunt's copy for nearly 50 years, and it's falling to bits. I have to keep it for sentimental reasons, but the new version, with its lovely cover image, will go next to it on the shelf.

THE BLOOMSBURY BOOK OF MOTHER AND DAUGHTER POEMS. Selected by Fiona Waters. Illustrated by Christopher Corr. Bloomsbury. pound;9.99 hbk

There are some real gems here, with poems from Plath to Hardy from Selima Hill to Anna Swir. My own favourite is a tiny verse by Sappho. This would make an excellent, if rather pricey, gift.

SHADES OF GREEN. Chosen by Anne Harvey. Illustrated by John Lawrence. Red Fox. pound;4.99 pbk

A welcome reissue for this prizewinning collection. Harvey gathers all sorts of treasures, including some from foreign poets, and lots by Anon, like the two most beautiful lines that close the book. John Lawrence's outstanding illustrations add greatly to the pleasure.

JOIN IN . . . OR ELSE! Poems for joining in with. Chosen by Nick Toczek. Illustrated by David Parkins. Macmillan. pound;2.99 pbk

Get past the rather off-putting cover and this is a jolly selection of verse to use in a group. Wendy Cope's "Here Hear" is a model of wit and instruction. Any child who learns it by heart will have homophones sewn up. The production is cheap and cheerful, but Parkins's illustrations are smashing.


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