This is a varied collection with poems of all shapes and sizes; some are very brief such as Advice which offers a tip for climbing Everest – never rest! Word play abounds and the illustrations add to the humour but there are poems which give the reader lots to think about as well.
Poems such as The Green Man and King of the Birds are drawn from folk law with footnotes which provide source information. There are poems based on observations such as Rain Snake, watching water drip down a window and poems based on musings such as Walk thinking about what might be happening in a plane above your head as you walk down below.
There are poems reflecting childhood such as ‘Can’t I please just stay in bed?’ which is written in the voice of a child or teen. Hide and Seek recalls the fun of childhood games and An Excellent Stick sparks the imagination; a stick can become a sorcerer’s wand or a ‘thunder forged sword’. There is a sprinkle of magic with I was born a Unicorn. The mood changes with Gone which describes the loss of a friend (or possibly girlfriend), and Where our School used to be which tells of time passing and childhood over.
There is a poem in praise of libraries and a poem to celebrate hugs. Ending the collection with a poem about bottling memories of a visit to the seaside is an effective choice.
Several of the poems, including the eponymous Chicken on the Roof (inspired by an actual event) would be a delight to perform- with a friend, a parent or in class. The writer’s experience as a performer shines through in this enjoyable poetry collection.