Smile Out Loud: 25 Happy Poems


How about closing your eyes to ‘imagine the different scenes that [this] poem creates’. That’s the invitation when reading Imagination Running Free. Thereafter, we imagine ‘a gentle sea’ or ‘two conker trees’ before ‘two stripy bees!‘ Then again, there’s a sense that we should be moving, like Joseph Coelho when he was inspired to write As I Walked. There is a repetition to the first line of each verse, wherein ‘As I Walked, I wondered‘ or ‘- pondered‘ or again ‘- marvelled‘ and more. Then again, the poem is a series of rhyming couplets.

Every poem included in Smile Out Loud is a poem to encourage joy, warmth, sharing and then inspire an understanding of the fun and lack of rules in poetry.

Therefore, we’ve a range of poetry styles from villanelles to recipes. Then again, we’re introduced to spoonerisms and zeugmas (‘a word used to link two things or ideas at once’.) What’s more, the writer includes an urgency in every poem so that we want to perform and read it. Every selection is interesting, curious, bright and active. Furthermore, Daniel Gray- Barnett’s pictures demonstrate the same sort of action and purpose.

Bookwagon recommends Smile Out Loud as an inspired choice for reading aloud, gifting and sharing. It is ideal title for home and school.

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Smile Out Loud: 25 Happy Poems

Joseph Coelho & Daniel Gray- Barnett

(Wide Eyed)

Joseph Coelho offers that Smile Out Loud is a collection of ‘poems to help you spread some happiness’. Therefore, readers are invited to perform the poems ‘alone, with friends and in large groups’. However, at every point, it’s to be remembered that poetry is fun.
Thereafter, we begin with The Laugh, where we’re reminded how ‘a tickle/ as a wriggle on my lips’ might turn ‘into a giggle,/ a wiggle of the hips’. Thereafter, this laugh builds to ‘a guffaw!/ – a great big belly laugh’… Where might it end? However there are poems that demand we might try ‘walking funny’ from The Ballerina, to The Dinosaur or The Slow- Mo. That walk demands walking ‘through egg yolks/ egg-aggerat[ing] your movements’. 
Further on, we’ve The Dragging Dragon, with ‘a lot of repetition‘ that offers opportunity for our audience to join in. Therefore, we can imagine groups chanting, ‘and it dragged-on behind him‘. However, how might it end?
What’s more there are poems to be acted out, maybe alone, or with another, for example in the roles of ‘grandchild and Dada‘ in ‘Dada’s treasures’.
Bookwagon is awed by the writer’s fascination with words, his mastery of and enthusiasm with words. Smile Out Loud is a superb book. Daniel Gray- Barnett with whom Joseph Coelho collaborated upon Poems Aloud is in the illustrator’s chair again. His drawn style is energetic, exciting and totally fitting for the mood and shape of this book. Altogether, this is an essential poetry book to share aloud at home, and then to read and perform at school. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this book.


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