Every primary school in the land should buy a copy
Colin West is one of the best humorous versifiers there are. I have often tried to explain to myself why he isn’t better appreciated – why, for example, this book should come to us from Troubador Press (probably produced at the poet/illustrator’s personal expense) rather than from a mainstream children’s publisher. The explanation is depressingly obvious really, and need not be spelt out, but it has to do with the fact that he writes is in the Edward Lear tradition of English nonsense verse. Contemporary and in-your-face it is not.
Barmy Ballads is a new hardback collection of his self-illustrated poetry, introducing a wonderful array of crazy characters (West seems able to conjure these up on a whim). Meet a nutty knight, a naughty witch, a smelly pirate, a not-very-jolly jester, a child genius, a hungry giant, a clever donkey, an invisible mischief-maker and many more. There is also a full supporting cast, including a crafty wizard, a lovesick fisherman, a helpful octopus, a hip hop drummer, seven washerwomen, a gang of bank robbers, a fiery dragon or two, not to mention the Queen of Spain and the old kitchen sink!
Order direct from the poet by contacting him on Twitter @mooseandmouse