Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Songs and Verse

Songs and Verse

Roald Dahl
Illustrator:   Quentin Blake 
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Puffin UK, 2016   ISBN: 978-0141369235

Roald Dahl has been delighting children with his unique stories since his first books came out in the early sixties. Many of his tales include hilarious songs and sections of poetry that appeal to young readers enormously because of their outrageous content and clever use of language. Dahl also wrote three poetry collections in the 1980’s: Revolting Rhymes, Dirty Beasts, and Rhyme Stew.

In this superb collection many of the wonderful songs and snatches of verse from the story books, as well as excerpts from the poetry books, have been brought together. Better still, renowned illustrators from all over the world have illustrated the poems and songs. Readers will get to see the art of Chris Wormell, Chris Riddell, Joel Stewart, Babette Cole, Axel Scheffler, Lauren Child, Alexis Deacon, and others. Quentin Blake, who illustrated so many of Roald Dahl’s books, has created some charming drawings for this book as well.

Divided into sections by subject matter - “Unlikely Creatures,” “Poisonous Possibilities,” and so on – this is a collection that Roald Dahl fans will love to dip into. Within its pages they will find the songs of the Oompa-Loompas, and the Centipede’s song from James and the Giant Peach. At the other end of the spectrum they will find the terrifying words from “Down With Children” from the book The Witches.

All in all this is a marvelous book, which truly celebrates Roald Dahl’s gift for creating poetry that children enjoy and want to read.

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