Book Title: Midnight Feasts: Tasty poems chosen by A.F. Harrold (available here)
Author: A.F. Harrold & Various Poets
Illustrator: Katy Riddell
Publication Date: October 2019
Most Suitable For: KS1 & KS2
Reviewed By: Rachel Caddick, Teacher & Book Blogger (@GetKidsin2Books)
Midnight Feasts is a wonderful collection of poems about everyday food - breakfasts, lunches and dinners. There are poems about cakes and sweets and ice cream too. There’s even an ode to the Yorkshire Pudding!
Some poems are about supermarket shopping and others are about foraging for wild blackberries. There’s a midnight feast poem and one about eating in the bath, but there are also poems about fasting and hunger. There are poems with delicious language and fabulous, sensory imagery. I particularly enjoyed the alternative names for blackberries (velvetberry, jamberry, yumberry) and the description of “vanilla pavements” after children have dropped their ice creams.
I enjoyed how varied the collection is in terms of length, style and poets chosen. There’s also a good mix of cultural references and a diverse representation in the characters depicted in the illustrations. Many of the poems are funny but there are some poignant and touching ones too. Among the poems are Katy Riddell's full-colour illustrations; lots fill their page while others curl around the text. They capture the humour and the fun of the poems and help to celebrate the joy that food and eating can sometimes bring.
Midnight Feasts is a gorgeous treasury and you could have lots of creative fun with the poems in English lessons. There are so many poems that could be used to inspire children’s writing. For example, you could read An Old Man Remembers his Childhood Sweetshop and explore kennings - the oozy-woozies, slow slurps and gobbledrops - and I’m sure children would love inventing some of their own. Or, after reading The Sprout’s Wish-List, children might be inspired to create their own wish-list poem for an unloved vegetable.
Midnight Feasts is an excellent book to keep on your classroom desk and dip into when you have a spare minute or two. A couple of poems shared aloud every day would be a real treat and a great way to foster reading for pleasure.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Rachel for reviewing it.
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