HIP CHILDREN’S READ
Me and My Alien Friend
Cosmic Poems about Friendship
Written and illustrated by Ed Boxall
The latest publication from Hastings writer, illustrator, performer and educator, Ed Boxall, is published by Troica Books this September in paperback at £7.99. Me and My Alien Friend: Cosmic Poems about Friendship is a full length collection of children’s poetry both written and illustrated by Ed.
This collection contains lots of poems about the ups and downs of childhood friendships – about best friends, changing friends, and friendships going wrong. Starting in this familiar territory, the book goes on to explore a big, wide world of friendship and there are universal imaginative ideas throughout, along with touches of sadness at times.
There’s a child who kicks the sun like a football to cheer his friend up; a child who feels a whole forest is his friend; a dragon who is the colours of the sunset; a child who escapes to a tree house in a jungle; and even a ‘thing on a springy string’ who can scare away nightmares. Ed told HIP one of his favourites is a poem about a lonely polar bear who is only visible to one child.
In the title poem a child sits on the moon with his 38-toed alien friend, looking at our world from a peaceful distance: observing, thinking, and dreaming…a bit like poets do. The illustrations of the child and his alien-friend recur throughout the book, and are sure to delight both children and adults as much as his long list of previous works have.
Internationally published Ed has written and illustrated several picture books for Walker Books, including Mr Trim and Miss Jumble, and Francis The Scaredy Cat which was read out on Children’s BBC by Justin Fletcher. In recent years Ed has realised he loves writing poems best of all and Me and My Alien Friend is his first full collection. Ed’s passion for poetry shows in his illustration work, and he has illustrated for some of the UK’s top children’s poets such as Brian Moses, Roger Stevens and James Carter.
Ed self-publishes his most personal work through his ‘Pearbox Press’. Pearbox Books are quite unusual black and white picture books that illustrate Ed’s surreal story-poems, and are as much for poetically minded adults as children. Ed’s favourite is High in The Old Oak Tree about a boy who spends his whole life up a tree.
In Me and My Alien Friend there are a lot of laughs in the poems themselves. There’s the story of Jimmy The Woodlouse, a poem about a child who is friends with a scab and a poem about getting the giggles at the worst moment possible. Ed has made the illustrations just as important as the poems, with lots of magical full page pictures packed with interesting detail. Designed primarily for children aged 6 to 12 there is lots of fun, and meaning, that younger children and ‘grown-ups’ will enjoy too.
• Ed will be performing his work from Me and My Alien Friend as part of Hastings LitFest on 1 September 12.45-13.45 at Hastings Library. 4-12 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult. It’s a free event but advance booking is essential.
Could you be a young book reviewer?
If you would like to try your hand at reviewing Ed Boxall’s new book for HIP send an email, stating your age, to [email protected] and I’ll reply with details. Pete.
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