The pages of this slim volume are filled with poems on a range of topics – from natural features such as clouds, to animals including mice and roosters, to fantastical creatures such as dragons. The poet, Paddy Dewan, takes interesting angles on things such as paintings hanging on walls, which can ‘tell a story’ or ‘reflect past glory’, encouraging young readers to stop and think about the topics.
Some of the best poems in the book are the shape poems, which young readers will enjoy because words and pictures come together to create a whole, so that in the poem about a bicycle wheel , the lines of poetry are spokes in the illustrated wheel and the reader needs to figure out where to start reading. In ‘Cloudie’ the poem drifts through pictures of clouds.
Other poems are rhymed and, although some of the rhymes seem forced (such as the phrase ‘stare your eye’, used to rhyme with ‘piled up high’), the topic and perspectives are interesting, and the black and white illustrations on every spread are really endearing. The book’s size and cover are unusual, being small format with a glossy softback cover, giving it a slightly historical feel in keeping with the traditional nature of much of the poetry.
Watermelon on My Plate, by Paddy Dewan, illustrated by Ros Care
Papyrus Publishing, 2011