Cover Image: Daydreams and Jellybeans

Daydreams and Jellybeans

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Member Reviews

This is a lovely selection of poems with interesting illustrations accompanying them. I think these would be enjoyed by children and would work well in a classroom as inspiration for writing and learning. I like the idea of the words and illustrations working together: you could spend as long talking and analysing the drawings and how they accompany the message of the poem. Look at the movement in the kingfisher - contrast it to the stillness in the accompanying drawing for 'Midnight Wish'.
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A perfectly delectable poetry collection written by Alex Wharton and illustrated by Katy Riddell, Daydreams and Jellybeans.

There's a huge range here - both content wise and stylistically.

Capturing the world from a child's point of view Wharton's love of language is abundantly clear. From the playful 'Jellybean', the thoughtful and compassionate 'Man in Town', the melodic Night Music, the range in this collection is delightful.

'Mr Madewrong' will make you giggle...

"The build me without instructions,

couldn't be bothered to read them

apparently there's no need,

but I disagree."

...and remember to read the instructions!

'Star Control' will encourage you to look up, and 'Daydream' will let your imagination take flight.

Daydreams and Jellybeans is full of joy, warmth and charm.

PS Don't skip the foreword!


Emma Perry - Picturebook author & founder of MyBookCorner
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Perfect poetry! 
Pitching poetry to primary pupils can be tricky....will they 'get' it? Will they want to 'get' it? This little treasure trove will become a go-to resource for classrooms across.the country. It features a range of poems, varied poetic devices and beautiful illustrations  all focused around a theme.of childhood experiences. Everyone will be able to relate to the imagery and language woven together here. Magical!
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This book reminded me of how soothing poems could be. I'll be rereading most of them before going to sleep or early in the morning before I start my day because they helped me realise little things mean a lot sometimes.
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I have absolutely adored Firefly Press books this year and this delightful book of poetry is no exception. Featuring a range of beautiful poems that are designed to be read aloud, this took me back to the days when my grandad wrote and read poetry to me, something which inspired a life long love of verse. 

This book is as delightful as the front cover. The poems, full of warmth, wit and astute observations, range from a giant painting the lines on a road, to spiders (this one had the same effect on me as my grandad's Spider in the Bath), to the beautiful birds and beasts of nature. There's even a super flattering, hilarious one of a sibling sleeping. Katy Riddell's illustrations bring each of Alex Wharton's poems to life in a delightfully engaging way. This is a must have for the classroom and the bedroom. 

I adore how each poem in this book conjures different images and emotions. There are serious poems, poems that capture the stunning beauty of nature, humorous poems (I loved Mr. MadeWrong) and poems full of imagination and magic. I particularly loved Trapper Boy and how Alex Wharton captures the thoughts of a young boy from the past, forced to work underground. 

The thread that unites all the verses in this book is that they feel very much like they are written for children from a child's perspective in a child's world. From teachers to toys to bubble men to animals to giants, they capture a child's imagination, inquisitiveness and fascination of the world around them and should peak their interest in any of the things they are not familiar with. 

I've struggled over the years to find poetry books that will appeal to my pupils and my children. I worry that poetry is often forgotten nowadays or have lost it's place in a child's bookcase. This is one I would highly recommend for any family or class. It is a joyous, literary delight!
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Poetry is a wonderful way to get kids excited about words and language. And Daydreams and Jellybeans is a glorious collection of poems that just demand to be read out loud.

Each poem is a perfect portrayal of a real life and everyday situation with Alex Wharton’s imagination and creativity sparkling throughout.  The poems flow and the words leap off the page. Readers of poetry will be familiar with many of the poetry forms and features; free verse, shape poems, verse, couplets, rhythm and rhyme. Newcomers to poetry will find the poems completely accessible and an absolute joyous introduction to poetry.

Poems range in theme from ones that are pure fun and joy to those that are full of emotion to those that will make you think. There are many poems about nature with snails, caterpillars, spiders, kingfishers, water, trees and butterflies all making an appearance. There are poems on natural wonders of the world including stars and the moon and the beauty of childhood is celebrated in poems such as ‘Jellybean’ and ‘Daydreams’. I particularly enjoyed ‘Letter from a Football’, ‘Maths Test’ and 'The Teacher Said’ - being a primary school teacher who loves football and maths perhaps these were obvious choices for me! Two of the more thoughtful poems are ‘Man In Town’ which is poignant, thoughtful, relevant and timely, and ‘Lost Smile’ which is a sombre and moving portrayal of emotions and feelings.

I love the inclusion of children’s work that features in the back of the book; the work by two children that were winners of a poetry competition is a great inspiration for other children to let their creative juices flow and pen their own poems.

Wharton’s poems are supported throughout by brilliant artwork by the talented Katy Riddell. The illustrations are playful and radiate warmth and charm - you can just tell that Riddell had a lot a fun creating them. The book is a real treat for eyes and ears.

Joyous, imaginative, and most of all, a great deal of fun. Publishes on the 28th January 2021.

Recommended for 9+.

With huge thanks to the lovely peeps at Firefly Press for the advanced reader copy that was obtained via Netgalley.
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‘Daydreams and Jellybeans,’ is a delightful collection of warm and funny poetry that is bound to delight and entertain younger readers. Some poetry is best savoured alone whilst these poems demand to be shared and read aloud. Poetry can be a fantastic way for children to express themselves and if they can see themselves within a poem then even better. None more so than Guilty where a child surreptitiously scoops up the dropped jellybean on the floor and eats it, despite it being covered in hairs. Beautifully illustrated by Katy Riddell this is a real feast for the imagination, I can just see this book being enjoyed in classrooms inspiring children to create their own versions and draw their visions of the different poems. A truly wonderful debut collection that mixes a variety of different styles highlighting to children that they don’t need to conform to a particular way to engage, enjoy and write their own poetry.
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I enjoyed these humorous poems with great illustrations that brought them to life.

Fun filled poems that children can connect to from the world around them.
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Daydreams and Jellybeans is a new poetry collection due to be published on 28th January 2021. Alex Wharton  won the Rising Stars Wales Award, and is to be published by Firefly Press.

Daydreams and Jellybeans is subtitled 'Poems to Read Aloud' and I think this is important with this kind of poetry. The words come to life when spoken, and Alex's collection manages to capture something that seems easy but is actually really hard - 'childness'. 

Not childlike or childish - it is written in the same butterfly-minded way that children think, with topics and ideas zipping about and bouncing over each other. Katy Riddell's illustrations elevate the charm and humour, just as she did so well with AF Harrold's 'Midnight Feasts'.

My own tastes in children's poetry lead me to look for a good control of rhythm, and I found that in poems like 'The Sea' and 'Jellybean'. There are some great little poems to start discussions about emotions too - most obviously 'Lost Smiles' but also 'Bed of the Sea'.

I'm excited to see more from Alex - I think the writing was strongest in 'Man In Town', about a rough sleeper. This is - very regrettably - the poetry that we need in these times in the UK, and this collection shows Alex Wharton has the potential to be one of the next generation of poetic truthtellers.
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Well I really enjoyed reading this and enjoying the poems with my children. There are a variety and some are funny, some very moving. I love the atmosphere they conjure up. These are brilliant. The illustrations are great too. My daughter who is 11 enjoyed reading these too and it has helped her to become interested in poetry which is fantastic!
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I enjoy reading poetry but have to admit that I don't read as much as I should do, so when I say that this book made me stop everything and read it as soon as I'd downloaded it, it's quite a feat!

It was Sophie Anderson's cover reveal that alerted me to the book and then Firefly Press said it was available on NetGalley and I was there like a shot!  I decided to just have a peek at the first couple of poems to see what it was like and I didn't put it down until I'd finished!

From the very first poem, Night Music, the pages are just bursting to come alive and the poems are begging to be read aloud ... indeed my husband and son were subject to me spontaneously reading to then as I uttered those words 'Oh, you have to hear this one!'

With themes ranging from snails to maths tests; jam to painting lines on the road, this collection is full of poems that will invoke a full range of emotions.  Lost Smile, in particular, is a poem that I think many will be able to relate to at the minute and made me want to hug the boy in the picture. 
The imagery created in the poems is joyful; the vocabulary and phrasing made my heart sing and Katy Riddell's illustrations are the perfect accompaniment.

These are poems that are begging to be heard and need to be read aloud so they can live in the air and dance into other people's minds to be savoured and enjoyed.  The book is like a hug and the emotionally positive lift we all need at the minute.

Daydreams and Jellybeans will definitely be one of those books I will read and reread and is, without doubt, a book that I will share over and over again with my class, and I know that they will love every poem just as much as I've done.

Huge thanks to Sophie for the cover reveal alert, and to Firefly Press for approving my Netgalley request so quickly.
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There are some lovely poems in this short collection by Alex Wharton: funny, poignant and well-obvserved.  I particularly enjoyed the beautiful imagery in 'Midnight Wish' and 'Night Music'.  The gorgeous illustrations by Katie Riddell are the perfect companions to these poems and I think children will really enjoy them.  It was a lovely touch to have two children's poems included at the end of the book  as part of a poetry competition - what a wonderful prize!
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What a fantastic collection of poems and pieces of writing.

It is just so cute. My son ploughed through it and laughed lots.
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This is a debut collection of poems by Alex Wharton and illustrated by Katy Riddell. The poet has written the book using a variety of styles including rhyme and free verse. The range of poetry from the funny Hector the Horrible Hedgehog, to the poignant Man in Town which describes homelessness means there is something for everyone. I personally enjoyed Jellybean and it's sequel later in the book, Guilty. I also loved the fact that there were two poems written by children at the end of the book. These children had won a competition to have their work included and it is great to see the next generation of poets being encouraged.
These poems are designed to be read aloud and are "ideally suited to performance" so could be well suited to using in the classroom.
Overall this was an interesting and enjoyable collection of poetry for children.
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I absolutely loved reading this book
thanks to the publishers & Netgalley for sending me arc of this book in exchange for this honest review
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