Today, to celebrate the first day of Autumn and a new “school” year for me studying children’s poetry for my MA, I’d like to introduce to you an exquisitely produced book of poems, Shirley Hughes’ Out and About: A First Book of Poems. This is not a new book but a new edition of a volume which was first published in 1988. However, as one would expect with Shirley Hughes’ work, this has not aged one bit and has lost none of its magic. All the poems follow Katie and her baby brother Olly as they enjoy the great outdoors, whether it is playing in the mud, building sand castles, sledging in the fresh snow or indeed sometimes staying at home poorly. As ever with Shirley Hughes, the poems and artwork are timeless, yet recalling a time where things, life, seemed simpler. Amazingly The artwork manages to convey both an certain elegance and the muckiness of childhood. Both words and artwork offer such a wonderful snapshot of what it is like to be a child; the final poem, for example, about the excitement and expectation of Christmas Eve will ring so true with young readers. The book design is stunning, and this luxurious-looking hardback will make a beautiful gift to add to any young child’s library.
And to celebrate the first day of autumn, here are a couple of ages from the book about this beautiful season:
You can buy Out and About: A First Book of Poems here
Source: review copy from publisher