Book review: Poems, puzzles and a blaze of colour with Buster Books

Poems, puzzles and a blaze of colour with Buster Books

Poems, puzzles and a blaze of colour with Buster Books

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There’s never a dull moment when Buster Books conjure up a new collection from their magical world of reading.

Buster Books is the innovative children’s imprint of independent publisher Michael O’Mara Books and their speciality is keeping boredom at bay.

This month there are inventive colouring and drawing books, including a Halloween activity book featuring loads of ‘undead fun,’ and a beautiful new poetry anthology for children.

Age 7 plus:

The Owl And The Pussycat by Helen Mort

‘Poetry: the best words in the best order,’ wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

There are few things more captivating to a child than the wonder of a poem, particularly one that tickles their funny bones or speaks volumes about life’s universal truths, loves and landscapes.

Helen Mort, T.S. Eliot and Costa Poetry Award nominee, provides the introduction to this enchanting anthology of poems which have been collated to entertain and inspire a new generation of youngsters.

From Shakespearean sonnets to modern day masterpieces, these are must-read poems for children to enjoy and treasure. Read them aloud, shout them across a beach, scribble them on a note, giggle at them and take them on the bus, Mort exhorts her readers.

And there are plenty of old favourites and new gems for young poetry lovers to get their vocal chords around… from Rudyard Kipling’s majestic poem If– , Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky and Edward Lear’s The Dong with a Luminous Nose to Carol Ann Duffy’s Valentine, Don Paterson’s Why Do You Stay Up So Late and Julia Copus’s The Back Seat of My Mother’s Car.

The poems are arranged in themed sections, including Humour and Nonsense, Growing Up, History and Legend and Animals, and Mort provides lighthearted and informative introductions to help explain some of the verses.

Elegantly produced and brimming with captivating poems to fire imaginations and lay the foundations for a lifetime of poetry pleasure, this is the perfect gift for readers young and not so young.

As John Adams, the second president of the United States, so rightly observed, ‘You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.’

(Buster Books, hardback, £9.99)

Age: 8 plus

The Neon Colouring Book by Richard Merritt, Amanda Hillier and Felicity French

Colour me beautiful… and colour me bright!

It’s time for kids to dig out their best highlighter pens and get to work on a dazzling colouring book that puts neon in a luscious, luminous spotlight.

This ultra-vivid colouring book is a visual treat, packed with striking pictures in splashes of neon colours just waiting for busy hands to complete the masterpiece. From amazing animals and awesome accessories, cool designs, exotic plants, tasty treats and crazy patterns, children can colour in the fun pictures with highlighters, pens and bright pencils to make the most eye-catching art the world has ever seen.

But be warned… sunglasses may be needed for final viewings!

(Buster Books, paperback, £9.99)

Age: 6 plus

The Halloween Activity Book by Lauren Farnsworth

The monsters are coming… and only clever kids can stop them!

As the nights start to draw in, beat the black-out with a book full of monstrous fun, fearsome fiends and zany zombies. Quick-thinking youngsters will enjoy using their brains and creativity to solve a foul feast of gruesome and ghoulish puzzles and games in the action-packed Halloween Activity Book.

It’s full of hair-raising games from surviving a zombie attack and making fake scabs to escaping the graveyard maze, devouring eyeball jellies and creating the perfect ghost disguise.

Lauren Farnsworth’s cornucopia of spooky scariness is brought to spine-chilling life by Paul Moran’s inventive and hilarious artwork.

Frighteningly good…

(Buster Books, paperback, £5.99)