A Whale of a Time

This cloth-bound collection of 366 funny poems, one for every day of the year, opens with a thoughtful love letter to the joy of reading. The exuberant energy echoes through the selection which includes poems by Margaret Mahy, Valerie Bloom, Wendy Cope, Ogden Nash, Christina Rosetti and Benjamin Zephaniah, amongst others.

As one journeys through the year, there is also an emotional journey: catching yourself laughing out loud one minute,  while the next smiling over poems that are sweet and tender. The colourful spreads are dedicated to specific themes such as cats, the moon, family, dinnertime, and even one just for hedgehogs! They are paired with energetic vibrant illustrations with textures evoking scribbled crayons and markers. Alongside the funny poems, the illustrations bring the punchlines to life.

The collection reflects some diversity and representation, but it still falls a bit short. In lieu of many poems by one author or multiple poems by ‘Anonymous’, the collection would have benefited from more new poetry from around the world. In terms of illustrations, there are children depicted from different ethnic backgrounds (as well as many animals and even aliens!) so it’s a shame that disabled children aren’t represented when there were 352 pages available to do so.

However, this collection is a thing of beauty, aimed at children but guaranteed to be enjoyed by adults who will recognise many a poem from their own childhood. An excellent gift, a staple for the bookshelf, and an important reminder that poetry is for everyone.

Book Cover - A Whale of A Time
Publication Date
September 2023