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First review for the new Children's collection, 'Belonging Street' (

It’s always exciting to receive new poetry books

and these two from Otter-Barry Books are smashers.

Belonging Street, Mandy Coe In this collection Mandy Coe has written about urban life, wild life and family life, sometimes all of them in the same poem. There's definitely something for every taste and every mood from story poems, puzzling ones, riddles and those that really touch the emotions. What Mandy does so well is to help readers to see the beauty and the magic of the everyday world whether she's writing about Helping Hands: Grandad's hands are brown / and rough with oil. / Grandma has a green thumb / potatoes pushing up the soil. // My aunt's hands are pale, / inked with many colours. / My uncle's hands are strong. / dusted with sugar and flour. // My stepdad's hand uncurls / to reveal a coin's bright shine. / My mother's strong hands / sew each stitch in time. // And when any of us fall, / these hands will help us stand, / these mending, baking, making, / lending, helping hands. Or talking of butterflies as in She Belongs to the World: Drifting through Albania / from mountain tops to forest floor, / she is flutur. ... In Norway, / among black pines, a brilliant jewel, / she is sommerfugl' ... 'Tumbling from the sky, / summer has arrived. / She is Butterfly.'. And how magical-sounding are these lines from Animals Name the Constellations: 'What's in the stars up above? asked Tadpole of his father. It's Silver Spawn in the Black Pond, the Lily, Carp and Beaver. Have they been there long? Forever my love, forever.'

Love Mandy Coe's illustrations for this poem

And I'm definitely going to try The Rhythm of Sleep if I find myself unable to drop off at night. It would also make a marvelous relaxation ending to a yoga class except that one doesn't actually want the participants to 'slip into sleep.' Not until they get home anyhow.

Belonging Street Mandy Coe

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