This review is a special one and I feel genuinely honoured to have been given the opportunity to review Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown. And as the title suggests, is dedicated to the resilient children who have been put through so much during these unprecedented times.
So lets get into it…
This book is dedicated to all the children who stayed at home. Thank You.
Cranachan and everyone involved.
The book begins with, well, the beginning of course. Actually, it reminds us all of the date that the lockdown began ‘The evening of Monday 23rd March 2020’
Then opens with a Haiku, (short Japanese poem) by Joseph Lamb and it goes…
“Skies full of storm clouds
Will be greeted like summer
When lockdown is done.”
And wow what a perfect way to start. It sets the tone for the whole book reminding us that yes we are all experiencing dark times but it will eventually end. The book also ends with a Haiku by Joseph Lamb and it’s a real treat! You’ll have to read it yourself to see why.
As I went through I was totally engrossed in each and every poem, story and fact. I think everyone will relate to each one in some way and although it is unfortunate that we need this book in the first place, it does a grand job of reiterating the fact that you are not alone, the lockdown will end and better times will return.
The authors have managed to take many situations and flipped them on their heads getting us to change our perspective. There is the most fantastic poem titled ‘rainbows’ with a rhyme for each colour – blue is real heart string tugger! and also a discussion between 2 birds and their general wonderings like have the humans washed their hands before refilling the bird feeder. I wonder how many of us thought about how the lockdown affected the animals? Admittedly not so much myself but I did notice an uprising of goats in Wales that made it to the news!
And lets not forget Darren Gate the solitary wielder of the pencil/quill/brush/stylus. Darren’s artwork really is uplifting and a ton of fun. Wait till you see the gorilla riding a bike! I showed it to my 2 children (5 & 2) and they thought it was simply hilarious!
It doesn’t end there either. Included at the end is a list of all the prompts the authors were given to write about. It gives the opportunity to write your own poem or story about your feelings and your experiences.
I think that what people will respond to in this book is that it treats a child’s world with absolute honesty and absolute respect. It’s moving, it’s funny, it’s thought provoking, it’s real. It literally brings you to the level we are all on right now and the illustrations that go with it are simply gorgeous. What the authors and illustrator have created here is special and quite honestly, in my opinion, historical.
If you like, feel free to send a message and share your thoughts on the book and I’ll be sure to pass your thoughts on.
The collection is edited by debut novelist Joan Haig and comprises work written especially for the lockdown volume, from well-loved children’s authors and new writers including:
Raisah Ahmed, Annemarie Allan, Dean Atta, Nayanika Basu, Pamela Butchart, Philip Caveney, Maisie Chan, Suleman Chebe, Alastair Chisholm, Justin Davies, Lari Don, Elizabeth Ezra, Matthew Fitt, Kerry L Fleming, Merryn Glover, Laura Guthrie, Joan Haig, Yasmin Hanif, Robert J Harris, Callum Heitler, Barbara Henderson, Diana Hendry, Emily Illet, Lindsay Littleson, Joseph Lamb, Elizabeth Laird, Joan Lennon, Caroline Logan, Janis Mackay, Alan McClure, Miranda Moore, Raman Mundair, Alex Nye, Rachel Plummer, Ross Sayers, Linda Strachan, Chae Strathie, and Victoria Williamson.
The authors of ‘Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown’ were thanked by MSPs through a motion put down in Scottish Parliment (@ScotParl) on Tuesday 26th May 2020 & recorded as part of pandemic history!