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- author Jackie French

Monday, 8 July 2019

Review: Moon Fish: Poems To Make You Laugh And Think

Who is Harry Laing? He is a comic performer, poet, children’s author, and creative writing teacher. 

Following his success in 2015 with Shoctopus: Poems to Grip You, Laing has come up with another interesting and original collection to make you laugh and think. 

And you will do both. The art work is by various illustrators who with their individual style translate what they see in the words.  This produces a delightful mixture of talent.

It opens with I’m the Pencil Bird, illustrated by Shaun Tan. This poem reads like a rap song – rhythmic, with sharp sentences. It’s not the only one.  There are chants, rhymes and free verse, words that sting, and enigmas to discover. The singular layout of each poem calls attention to its uniqueness, as do the differing art styles and media used. They are fun-filled and entertaining; thought-provoking and bizarre.

There are 23 poems in this inventive and energised selection. Subjects include cheese, pizza, swooping magpies, ants, termites, the Sun, an angry old lady, Henry Lawson’s moustache, and a stinky dog. Each is a surprise. No recycled themes in this book. All poems are standouts and impressive in design and content. Whether it’s a runaway TV or a giant snail, there is something to learn from every one of them. To illuminate the creativity of this multi-talented performer - poet, these poems are best read out loud.

Whichever you choose as your favourite will be a hard choice. The book has a stunning cover with the title in cut-out lettering, whose windows depict miniature images of selected illustrations within the book.

Amongst the featured illustrators are Anna Pignataro, Marjory Gardner, Nicky Johnson, Lucia Masciullo, Shaun Tan, Jess Ratcliff, Leigh Hobbs and Mitch Vane. If the words don’t steal your interest, then the artwork will.

Title: Moon Fish: Poems to Make you Laugh and Think.
Author: Harry Laing
Illustrator: Individual artists
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing, $16.95
Publication Date: 1 May 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925804256
For ages: 6+
Type: Poetry


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