Reviews /

A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop

Authored by Kate Wakeling
Illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon
Published by Otter-Barry Books Ltd

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A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop is Kate Wakeling’s third poetry collection for children and is an absolute delight! As a huge fan of this poet, I was thrilled to receive this collection of poems for younger readers. Knowing Cloud Soup and Moon Juice really well, my expectations were already sky-high, and I was definitely not disappointed.

One of Wakeling’s strengths is the musicality she brings to her writing which makes her poetry such a delight to perform. There are poems like Probably the Fastest Poem in the World, which unsurprisingly invites the reader to read as fast as they can – a great way to develop fluency (as well as the potential for using stopwatches!) and Ready Steady Steam Train, a poem that is read at increasing speed. How to Bob Like a Robin invites an immersive action experience that I know young children adore.

The subjects that Kate Wakeling writes about are instantly relatable for children; from clouds to splinters, dinosaurs to sticks there is something to pique the interest of any reader. I loved The Pudding Place, which explores the universal truth that however full we might be when we see the pudding, we find a space. It reminds me of my nephew’s firm belief that he had a ‘pudding side’ of his tummy. There are poems that will support learning in different curriculum areas too. I was ridiculously excited to discover The Fire of London Town, a rhyming poem that succinctly tells the story of the Great Fire of London. This was a particular gift for my class to perform in their class assembly!

A Dinosaur at the Bus Stop is a poetry box of delights filled to the brim with treasures. There really is something for everyone, and every poem is crafted with the utmost consideration for the beauty of language. There are quieter, more reflective poems such as In the Quiet of the Trees, which provide a balance to the more boisterous poems like The Washing Machine Jive. The reader is constantly being invited to share their thoughts and feelings which makes this book perfect to share in KS1. Eilidh Muldoon’s illustrations enhance the appeal for young readers and provide the perfect complement to the poems. It’s a must-have book for any school that takes poetry seriously and wants to inspire young readers.

Kate Wakeling reads from The Dinosaur at the Bus Stop,  and chats with Nikki Gamble.