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This issue’s cover is from The Hutchinson Treasury of Children’s Poetry (cover illustration by Peter Weevers). Edited by Alison Sage (who also edited The Hutchinson Treasury of Children’s Literature), this sumptuous anthology is loosely divided into four sections corresponding to age starting with nursery rhymes and first poems through to poems for older children and classic poetry. Poems from such modern poets as Roger McGough, Ted Hughes, Wendy Cope and Maya Angelou sit alongside poems by Longfellow, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shelley and Shakespeare. The anthology is illustrated in full colour and black and white. Newly commissioned illustrations from, for example, Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes and Nicola Bayley are included alongside illustrations by Randolph Caldecott, Jessie Willcox Smith and Kate Greenaway. With such a comprehensive range of poems for 2-11 year olds and upwards, this is a wonderful family book.
The practised hand of Nick ('Percy the Park Keeper') Butterworth ensures this picture book is not a formulaic tale about monsters. For a start, the galaxy of animals which surface in Thud! are all brilliantly and wittily drawn from the aardvark and the antelope to the zebra and the gorilla. Second, the familiar tale of animals wanting to rid themselves of the Ugly Beast and the Monster has a delightful twist. For teachers and librarians looking for a text with careful language repetition, a developing vocabulary and lots of humour Thud! offers an attractive read for a junior class.