Message from the Moon and other poems

Hilda Offen’s poems are as enjoyable as her illustrations, any reader would be hard pushed to say which they prefer. Wonderful stories are created through the clever coupling of powerful phrasing and intelligent illustrations. The minimalist and simple style of the illustrations allow the reader to find meaning easily within the clever cartoons. Offen uses simple black lines which are clear and to the point.

The author’s style is somewhat similar to that of Ogden Nash, combining clear and sharp language, rich images and the action which children so adore. Some interesting titles include ‘Killer Caterpillar’, ‘The Brekpop Pack’ and ‘Don’t!’. Common childhood experiences are expertly mirrored and recreated with careful use of rhythm and rhyme, making the pieces quite accessible. Undoubtedly the collection is aimed at younger readers, and as such it is full of pieces which are sure to be childhood favourites.

While utilising clear and concise language, Offen also tells stories and creates vibrant scenes. The author applies themes and topics writing under various headings, though relying heavily on nature and the surrounding world. Other themes which are covered include sleep, dreaming, and the child as an observer. There is something for everyone in this collection.