An Imaginary Menagerie

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Review

A welcome republication for McGough's classic collection of real and imaginary animal poems, which first delighted readers of all ages more than twenty years ago. Adults who enjoyed these poems as children now have an excuse to revisit and share them with a further generation.

McGough revels in the sound of words, puns and word-play generally, and in the incongruity of ideas and behaviour. Arranged alphabetically, the twenty-six short animal word portraits (the visual portraits are also McGough's own work) layer the surreal, the bizarre and the use of allusion to offer us an immensely engaging and amusing menagerie.

Opportunities abound for using these poems in the classroom as a stimulus for young people's imaginative writing, for exploring language and for performance.

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