Welcome to Wild Town


The garden pond is in ‘the shade of the trees‘. It’s where lions lap ‘at dawn‘, while elephants ‘wallow‘ in the evening. Then again, in this place, Wild Town, there’s a home for retired explorers. Its residents include Laika, who lies on ‘the threadbare rug‘ dreaming across ‘long and leadless‘ days.

Then again, Hibernation Row has hallways of drifting post, ‘lawns- all unmown‘ and ‘milk bottles‘ stacking up. This place calls for  the ‘gentlest of footfalls‘ for its residents include dormice, ‘dreaming hedgehogs’ and the ‘grumpy slumberers/ like Bertha the miserable bear’. 

We are visitors, welcomed to Wild Town. It means that we must take care to attend to this place. While wild creatures follow the rules, we discover places like the Wildflower Meadow, where ‘lessons become play‘ and ‘friends prepare to share/ A lucky dip of colours’. It’s a place where ‘rainbows plough the sky‘.

Award winning poets, Dom Conlon and AF Harrold create a wonderland of considerations, glorious imagery, peculiarities and laugh out loud inventions. This is a place we want to visit. Bookwagon encourages you to step inside and enjoy Welcome to Wild Town.

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Welcome to Wild Town

Poems by AF Harrold and Dom Conlon, illustrated by Korky Paul

(Otter-Barry Books)

When you ‘look up at the high up sky‘, does it seem as though you’re ‘falling up‘? Could it seem like ‘a funny vertigo’? Then again, what if you cannot hear your Dad’s complaints about the noise of the wind?. It seems there’s the ‘heap of coats/ piled into the corner‘. Then again, what about the ‘rooftops lying like rocks/ on the wrong houses’? Could it be that this is a time to ‘learn to fly’? After all, you’ve stepped inside! It’s Welcome to Wild Town. It seems as though this place, this creation of AF Harrold and Dom Conlon, confounds all we know. For example, what about the ‘early bird‘ who ‘catches the paperboy‘. Then again, what about the ‘neighbourhood gazelles’ who ‘circle hungrily‘ over the ‘little weeds’ that ‘defy- the council plans‘ to redo ‘the pavement? Furthermore, what about Hibernation Row?
Alongside such a broad church of observations, imagination and considerations, we’ve demonstration of the poet’s repertoire and skill. There is such accessibility to every work, and then an urge to reread, too. What’s more, many of the poems are very funny. Just consider the ‘teenage leopard‘ squeezing its spots? Then again, what bout the ‘photosynthesising‘ streaker, running ‘around the park in the nude‘?
Each poet is acclaimed in his own right. Just think of works such as Midnight Feasts. or Leap, Hare, Leap! However here, in this collaboration, it seems as though they’re bouncing off each other. It means that altogether, Welcome to Wild Town, illustrated so vibrantly by Korky Paul, is a triumph. Bookwagon recommends this poetry book highly for reading aloud, sharing in class, knowing well and treasuring.


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