All the Wild Wonders: Poems of our Earth

This compilation of more than thirty poems focuses on showing us some of the wonder and fragility of our planet. There are lyrical poems that celebrate the wonder of the Earth; there are poems that display anger at humankind’s mismanagement of the Earth’s resources; there are poems told from different points of view; there are poems that dare us to think differently and poems that offer some hope. All of them have the potential to encourage children to ask questions and to challenge complacency about the future of our planet.

Wearing a teacher and parent hat, my personal favourite is Wes Magee’s ‘Snagger’s Pond’. The reason I like this poem best of all is that it gives children the idea that they can be agents of change and that even small changes can make a difference. And that’s an important message for a child to hear.

Piet Grobler’s illustrations are whimsical, light and even humourous, yet convey, through delicate inks and watercolours, the seriousness of the topic without being moralistic, pedantic or didactic. The editor’s introduction emphasises this gravity when she says: “[the poems] celebrate the beauty of ‘all the wild wonders’, but they also point out danger – and where we see danger, we need to think and to act.” She suggests that the poems question, entertain, describe, and touch our imaginations. I fully agree. This book should be in every classroom.