Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss


Aren’t the very young fascinated by themselves and then their surroundings? What about the usual things like ‘going to the shops‘ or nursery? Then what about people familiar to them and those they meet? Joseph Coelho considers familiar experiences within a glorious collection of ‘poems to share with little ones‘, Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss.

Thereafter, we might go through the routine of bedtime, with a poem that steps us into Dreamtime, so that we’re encouraged to  ‘Close your eyes tight,/ have a deep yawn,/ get ready for sweet dreams/ what adventures will you go on’? Can’t you imagine this becoming a familiar refrain?

What’s more, maybe there’d be a shared melody with the title poem so ‘Blow a kiss,/ catch a kiss/ put it in your heart‘?

Then again, we can imagine the grins and repetitions and wordplay that develops from The Nose Boogie, where young readers are invited to ‘Scrunch your nose/ wiggle your nose/ blow your nose/ extend your nose’. Wouldn’t this build laughter and a wealth of suggestions?

Altogether through various themes, moods and tones, with such a rich use of language and device, Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss is a most glorious poetry collection that Bookwagon recommends highly to our youngest readers. We consider this essential to home and nursery reading experiences, and an ideal gift too.

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Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss

Poems to Share With Little Ones

Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Nicola Killen

(Andersen Press)

Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss/ when we are apart…. put it in your heart… These ‘poems to share with little ones’ from Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, reflect the everyday experiences for most. Therefore, we wonder over the faces that our very youngest see, from the ‘little-happy face‘ to the ‘big-crazy face‘. Then there’s ‘Big face./ Little face. Happy face. Crazy face.’ Just think of all the faces that watch over, inspire and react to our youngsters!
What about Weather? Can’t we imagine that ‘the wind has got his scarf on/ he is blowing through the land’? Meanwhile, it seems ‘the rain has got her boots on‘ while ‘the snow has got her gloves on’. Can’t we play with this in conversation, too? What might the frost wear? Or even the fog?
These poems are intimate, personal and curious. They consider first experiences and questions. Therefore, when we’re asked to ‘Walk Like a Crocodile’ what other comparisons might we make to the animal? Might it be in our movements? Then again, maybe our teeth?
Like Caterpillar Cake, Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss is a fundamental, encouraging and beautiful poetry collection. What’s more, alongside the poet’s words, we’ve bright, enquiring pictures from Nicola Killen that beg for interaction. Altogether, this is an essential, wonderful production.


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