Diary of a Shape Shifter by Kevin McCann
Dragons, ghosts, spaceships and yetis… children’s poet Kevin McCann is taking youngsters on a journey of discovery!
McCann has been penning poems for young readers since 1990 and now he has gathered together his adventurous and intriguing collection into one exciting new book, all charmingly illustrated by Moara Marques.
From skipping in the school playground – ‘sharing jokes and sweets’ – and the fun of owning a puppy – ‘shoe chewer, clothes strewer, fly catcher, ear scratcher’ – to discovering a dragon hatched out under the garden shed and creeping downstairs on Christmas morning, McCann brings us childhood in all its many joys and quirks.
Whether we are peering into the dread ‘Gloom’ which waits up dark alleys and hides under the wardrobe, or being ordered to ‘aim your chin at the Moon and leap-frog into the sky,’ McCann offers an imaginative child’s eye view of the world.
We can follow the cat as she picks her way down the garden path ‘tail tip counting down to her sudden pounce,’ skim an ice-chunk across a frozen pond’s ‘glittering skin’ or picture ourselves sitting under a tree when the wind blows ‘and boughs and branches start to creak.’
And then, of course, there is the mysterious Shape Shifter of the book’s title which on Monday was a garden gate, ‘on Tuesday patchy fog,’ on Wednesday ‘a Piece-of-Eight’ and ‘on Thursday a Yuletide Log.’
Using funny, fun and thoughtful poems in a wide variety of styles, including riddles, rhymes and ballads, McCann brings to life the dreams, dreads and delights that every child will recognise, enjoy… and remember forever.
(PlantaPress, paperback, £7.99)