Advice comes in many shapes.
Poems come in many shapes.
And so, it follows, poems of advice come in many shapes too.
Sometimes they look you in the eye and say, ‘Do this! Don’t do that!’
Sometimes they sidle up beside you and whisper, ‘Have you ever thought about . ?’
Not everything in this book is necessarily good advice, and not all of it is sensible advice. (But if you take the bad or un-sensible advice and don’t follow it, then it may become useful advice in its own way.)
This was one of my impulse purchases because there are times when I can’t resist a book. (Okay, yes…most of the times.) (Alright, alright… ALL the time.)
This children’s book is filled with seemingly nonsensical stanzas on a wide variety of subjects ranging between food, animals and nature, school life, general knowledge, and miscellaneous subjects pertaining to the human condition. The poems are hysterically fun, witty bits of advice, silly at best, with their usefulness highly questionable. And this is where it calls for some critical thinking… deciding which parts are important. To you.
If you look closely you might discover the author has subtly slipped in a lesson or two that might actually make sense.
The book is illustrated by Mini Grey in a bright and quirky style that brings out the absurdity of these poems. There are little notes scattered throughout the book, both by the author and illustrator. There are also little exercises to create your own rollicking rhymes with witty word play and fizzing fun.
For e.g. If lost, sing about your elbows. (I made that using the Advice-A-Tron 216. I bet A.F. Harrold would be proud of me 😀 )
This will make you laugh until your sides hurt and you might even be tempted to go back and re-read them. Children especially will love this and enjoy creating their own advice using the helpful guide.
The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice by A.F. Harrold. Illustrated by Mini Grey. Published in 2020 by Bloomsbury.
Book 60 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
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