Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nigel Tetley's Two Fat Cows and When Bees Flew in for Breakfast (Reviews)

Today I'm highlighting two books from UK author Nigel Tetley whose writing is imaginative, diverse and humourous. The first one is a children's book and the second a poetry book for teens.

Book Details:

Title: Two Fat Cows by Nigel Tetley
Illustrator: Simon Goodway
Publisher: The Choir Press
Category: Children's Fiction, 20 pages
Genre: Humor
Published: Nov 1, 2016
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Meet two very greedy cows, Marigold and Petal, and follow them in their madcap plan to eat every blade of grass they can get their hooves on. A new laugh-out-loud rhyming story for young readers.

Buy the Book: Amazon UK ~ Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani and Son

The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover. The cow on the right has that look on her face. Mischievous and secretive, while the other looks deceivingly innocent. That in itself told me this book would be funny.

Told in rhyme, this is the story of two fat cows stuck in their pen where there is no more grass. They long to get out to eat the long green grass on the other side of the pen but can't get past the gate. So they look for a way to get out. How they finally get out is funny and silly. 

My son was curious at to what the moral of the story was and after reading it several times we came to the conclusion that it's a cute way to use a funny situation to learn new words and build a vocabulary. Overall, this is a fun story to read out loud to young children who will be entertained at the antics of these two fat cows.

Book Details:

Title: When Bees Flew in for Breakfast: Forty Original Poems for Teenage Readers
Author: Nigel Tetley
Publisher: The Choir Press
Category: YA Fiction,  pages
Genre: Poetry
Published: June 10, 2016
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

When Bees Flew in for Breakfast is a collection of forty original poems written specifically for the 11-16 age group. The poems cover a wide range of themes, from nonsense humour to Gothic horror to logical puzzles to the Natural World. The poems are playful, surprising, thought-provoking and intriguing. This is a book that young people will want to read.

Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I used to love poetry when I was a teen, so knowing this poetry book was written especially for teens intrigued me. To begin with, I love the title. It's a phrase that can conjure up different emotions: fear at having bees fly in during one's breakfast; comfort that bees provide honey which has been a staple for breakfast for many years; and humor when picturing bees eating their version of breakfast. I think you get what I mean. Like poetry, the title can be viewed or interpreted in different ways.

This book is filled with a varied selection of poetry, from simple (A Year and a Day) to more complex (Trewyn Subtropical Gardens, St. Ives Cornwall), from short (Summer Moment) to long (The Mystery of Inglebrough Mill), from fun (Colour Contest) to sad (On the Death of a Friend) to reflective (The Wind). I truly enjoyed reading these poems, with their vivid imagery, diversity and myriad of topics. Each poem had a different feel to it. Here is a stanza from the poem The Wind, one of my favorites from this book:

The wind rushes onward from nowhere,
To an end-point that reaches no rest
As it swells like the turbulent ocean,
But its waves have no trough and no crest.

I have two teen kids and neither said they would read this book, primarily because they are both reluctant readers and poetry is not their thing. Having said that, I think that teen kids who love to write poetry or songs will appreciate this book. Furthermore, teachers can use this book in the classroom for reading assignments or poetry discussion. I think the poems are diverse enough that they can interest kids with varied reading tastes. And I think it a great way to build appreciation for poetry. This is a unique poetry book that can be inspiring for young minds attracted to words, songwriting and poetry.

Buy the Book:  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

About the Author:

Since qualifying as a Religious Studies teacher in 1989, Nigel Tetley has worked in a variety of schools, spanning middle and secondary age groups in both the State and independent sectors. At the beginning of his teaching career, he also spent a year in Greece teaching English as a second language. In 2001, he started writing children's poetry at the suggestion of a colleague. Since then he has also written the texts for three carols: 'Alchemy,' 'Snow,' and 'The Way of Paradox.' (Encore Publications, 2006.)

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