Books Make Good Pets


Books Make Good Pets asserts award-winning poet John Agard. After all they seem to say ‘you can pick me up/ and throw me aside./ But one day you’ll discover/ I have more than nine lives.’ 

Thereafter, books ‘burrow – through the dusty/ reaches of your mind/ to nibble at old ideas/ and let in the new‘. It seems as though they ‘hibernate’ waiting for us to discover how they might help us ‘take flight/ among the branches of yourself.’ 

What beautiful notions! What spectacular images conjured by the words, and the flying, diving, impossibly possible pictures from Momoko Abe.

Books Make Good Pets is a satisfying, rich and wonderful picture poetry book that is ideal to read, share, discuss and treasure.

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Books Make Good Pets

John Agard, illustrated by Momoko Abe


Books Make Good Pets and ‘don’t need going to the vet’. What’s more they ‘wag their words whenever you slice their dog-eared pages.‘ There are howling lines, purring sentences and opportunities to pick them up. Furthermore, many books have ‘more than nine lives’. Thereafter they ‘nibble at old ideas/ and let in the new‘. Then they might ‘hibernate/ in the shell other covers/ and patiently wait to be rediscovered.’ 
This poetry picture book is exceptionally crafted. By comparing the experience of reading to that of owning a pet, John Agard, plays with words so cleverly. Furthermore, to rhyme these ideas is astounding! The concepts of covers, spines. shelves and branches, alongside so many other nouns common to both areas, is so enjoyable.
This story concludes with a comparison with owning a goldfish so that books ‘glow and swim/ in the bowl of your imagination’. Books Make Good Pets follows up on this assertion in the way it makes us feel so enlivened and fulfilled by its text while Momoko Abe’s pictures appear to float into infinity.


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