Daydreams and Jellybeans


Alex Wharton examines the word about him and describes it so evocatively. Therefore hw wonders whether the Weeping Willow is really sad. Could it be that it is ‘slow/waterfall/ of leaves,// almost still,// but closer every year/ to saying hello,/ to the gentle grass below…’

Then again, what of the Bubble Man, who suggests that ‘A bubble’s emotion begins/ in the potion; whose bubbles make us laugh ‘Sweet as sugar, soft as snow’. 

There is such variety, so many scenes and characters upon which and whom to linger, to shape the words and thereafter share. Furthermore Katy Riddell’s line drawings are so encouraging, empathetic and considerate that we wonder anew at the message and lyrics of each poem.

Bookwagon loves Daydreams and Jellybeans, suggesting this is a necessary collection for your home and school library.

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Daydreams and Jellybeans

Poems to Read Aloud

Alex Wharton, illustrated by Katy Riddell

(Firefly Press)

In the introduction to Daydreams and Jellybeans, Philip Gross offers that poems are most alive ‘when the poet is right there, speaking it’. Alex Wharton’s collection is audible. This means that when we read Night Music, where he sees ‘the sounds at night/ altering the shapes of trees‘ we hear AND see his experience.
Thereafter, we ooze the snail’s passage,  ‘On a Sunday afternoon/      //As s l o w.        oo…‘ Somehow we want to move as we read and hear Mr Madewrong so that our ‘hips are always wiggling’.
Furthermore, when we read Quiet Things, we need to whisper the words, so ‘- she/ makes things with ribbons and/ / bows, her hands/ have the gentle touch of/ snow’
Poignancy, empathy and awareness of the world about him sings from Alex Wharton’s poetry. What’s more Katy Riddell’s seemingly simple line drawn illustrations amplify the words so sympathetically. Her work here, as in Midnight Feasts, is superb.
Bookwagon recommends Daydreams and Jellybeans for reading at bedtime or in class. This is a proud collection of poetry.


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