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The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

Written by A.F. Harrold

Illustrated by Mini Grey

Key Stage 2 Humorous Poetry

LoveReading View on The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

An entirely essential collection

Two phenomenally talented people are united in this book, and it is hard to know which of them – poet A.F. Harrold or illustrator Mini Grey – had the most fun creating it. Either way, the end product is glorious, an entirely essential collection of poems offering unforgettable advice on an extraordinary range of subjects. Scanning through the index will give you an idea of the topics covered, and how: the entry for banana, for example, reads how to identify a … while that for pencil case is why you shouldn’t muddle one up with a lunchbox … There are three entries for tiger, referring you to very useful poems, including the one that explains just how many tigers it takes to spoil a picnic. Harrold is a master of the absurd, taking ideas or phrases and turning them quite round about and Mini Grey illustrates his poems with an equal delight in the possibilities he conjures up. Most of the poems are wonderfully comic, but there’s space for quiet, thoughtful verse too. It’s a book to fire the imagination and to make you see things in a whole new way, like a poet in fact. 

Andrea Reece

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice Synopsis

Advice comes in many shapes.

Poems come in many shapes.

And so, it follows, poems of advice come in many shapes too. Sometimes they look you in the eye and say, 'Do this! Don't do that!' Sometimes they sidle up beside you and whisper, 'Have you ever thought about ... ?' Not everything in this book is necessarily good advice, and not all of it is sensible advice. (But if you take the bad or un-sensible advice and don't follow it, then it may become useful advice in its own way.)

A riotous celebration of words and a modern take on cautionary tales - featuring advice on parrots, gravy, mathematics, castles (bouncy), spiders, vegetables (various), breakfast, cakes, and removing ducks from soup.

Filled with colour illustrations and packed with silly rhymes, witty wordplay and thought-provoking story poems, this collection will delight children of all ages.

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice Press Reviews

A lovely collection of poems that play with language [...] The illustrations are integral to a lot of the poems, and are Mini Grey's usual wonderful, detailed and hilarious style. - NetGalley Reviewer

A hilariously daft, fantastically funny and beautifully illustrated book. This book of super silly poems (or very important advice depending on how you look at it) really brightened up our bedtime reading. [...] I'm sure this book would be a favourite of families who love to have a giggle and get silly! - NetGalley Reviewer

Praise for The Imaginary;

This is young fiction of the very best quality, showcasing inspiration, inventiveness and an intoxicating passion for storytelling. The Imaginary has the potential to be a family favourite and a future classic - Booktrust

Book Information

ISBN: 9781526618016
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: A.F. Harrold
Illustrator: Mini Grey
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 160 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Humorous, Poetry

About A.F. Harrold

A.F. Harrold is an English poet who writes and performs for adults and children. He spends his time showing off on stage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas). He is the author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal longlisted The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett. He lives in Reading with a stand-up comedian and two cats. Emily Gravett was born in Brighton. After leaving school with few qualifications, she spent eight years living on the road before getting a place on the BA illustration course ...

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