Over the past eighteen months as our lives have been restricted many more of us have discovered that nature has the capacity both to sooth and to inspire. This simply glorious collection of poems, stories and plays encourages us all to slow down, to take notice and to appreciate the wonderful world around us. The everyday sights and sounds that may be taken for granted are celebrated in a combination of words and pictures, both beautiful in themselves, but together they create a book to treasure.
Zaro Weil and Junli Song won the coveted CLiPPA prize for their stunning poetry anthology, Cherry Moon and this beautiful collection will undoubtedly attract much attention. It deserves attention. The poems, story-poems, raps, rhymes, haiku and little plays inside this anthology, inspired by Kew Gardens, are full of imagination, humour and joyful appreciation. The vibrant full colour illustrations depicting trees, birds, animals, rivers, flowers, mountains and insects all demand time from the reader. From the stunning cover onwards this is a colourful and happy celebration.
The poems themselves tell stories and the mini plays and short stories extend this concept. The reader explores and discovers as they read and this book would be a joy to read aloud. Children would enjoy playing the various roles and learning as they participate. Even my mortal enemy, the wasp, becomes a creature to appreciate in this delightful book. There are poems that make you smile, poems that make you care and poems that move you. One of my personal favourites is Tree’s Story, a poem full of hope and a celebration of the life cycle and our interconnectedness.
Ultimately this thoughtful collection feels a little like Nature sharing secrets, hopes and guidance. We are reminded of our role as guardians of our world and yet the poetry never preaches but prompts and encourages. This is a lovely, hopeful book. Published just prior to our county wide celebration of poetry, National Poetry Day, this is a book to treasure any day.
When Poems Fall From the Sky was published on 1st October by Troika Books in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I should like to thank the publishers and Fritha Lindqvist for my review copy.
Troika Books have created a lovely trailer which provides a taste of When Poems Fall From the Sky.