Thursday, November 30, 2017

Poetry Friday: Let's Go to London!

Hello and happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for Roundup.

I've been reading A LOT. See this week's earlier post on MOZART'S STARLING, which includes a wee interview with my bird-loving nephew Matt (and Frosty).

Also, Shelf Awareness did a lovely write-up about CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? You can read it here.

Thanks to the CYBILS, I have quite a few poetry titles I'm excited to share with you, including today's feature: ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS by Patricia Toht, illustrations by Sam Usher.

wee Daniel, our London
traveling companion!
It's been more than twenty years since I was last in London, and this book took me right back there! The book begins with a family boarding one of those famous hop-on/hop-off double-decker buses to explore the sights. And then there are poems about Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, museums. The River Thames poem weaves across a double-spread. We find ourselves standing at the famous Globe Theater. There's even a seek-n-find poem at Trafalgar Square! There are lots of strong analogies and unexpected images... I have quite a few favorites! But since London is known for rain, I'd like to share with you the Piccadilly Circus stop:

by Patricia Toht

Sun slips,
dips behind clouds.
A drip.
A spritz.
Carts sport spots.
Watery window polka dots.
Fatter drops
in plips and plops,
bounce off bright
umbrella tops.
Window ledges,
awning edges
trickle with streams.
Rain fills pavement
cracks and seams.
Waters flow.
Puddles grow.
Traffic splashes --
spills a chill
that climbs your spine.
Just in time,
you find a door.

.... and also the Tower Bridge poem, which employs an epistolary form and features the voice of the Bridge itself:

by Patricia Toht

Dear Visitor,
I grow weary of being
called by the wrong name.
I tell you, 'London Bridge'
and I are NOT the same!
Years ago dismantled, he
was shipped across the sea.
And without a doubt,
he's not as GLORIOUS
as me.
I decorate the city like a
fancy wedding cake,
while unadorned,
he plainly spans
an Arizona lake.

      Tower Bridge

I really want to share with you the final poem in the book, which reminds me of the book GOODNIGHT MOON, but I'm out of time, so you will have to check the book out for yourselves. :) Happy reading!


  1. Can you see me swipe my pass? I'm climbing aboard Live Your Poem today, to take the jolly trip with Patricia Toht, who I've admired for awhile in blogging circles. I always got the two bridges mixed up & am glad Tower Bridge has addressed the situation :) ALL ABOARD THE LONDON BUS is on my Christmas wish list. These poems are a window into a city our family loves.

  2. Love the pic of your London traveling companion! Your review sent me scurrying to request the title and I'm #2 in line. Can't wait to read more of Patricia's delightful poems!

  3. Both poems have such strong images, love the rain words in the first one and the rhyming of it startles, perhaps like the rain? I'm glad you're sharing some of these Cybil's nominees, Irene. Thanks!

  4. I want to read this book to prepare for our upcoming trip to London in March! These two poems that you shared have me even more excited to go--and even more jealous of my daughter who gets to spend an entire semester in England.

  5. Love this book, love London!

  6. I will have to get my hands on this book, Irene. I especially like the poem told from the POV of the bridge--how original!

  7. Thanks for sharing this book with readers. I have been enjoying it.

  8. Irene! Thank you so much for sharing All Aboard the London Bus with your readers! Although it seems impossible to choose a favourite illustration in the book, I think Sam's illustration of Piccadilly Circus may win. I hope you have a chance to visit London again very soon.

  9. Thank you for this! It's been way too long since I was in London, so maybe I need to look for this book!

  10. This is such a fun book, the poetry and art together, thanks for sharing it Irene! I was in London many moons ago and would love to return sometime.

    Thanks for inviting us to visit your earlier post on "Mozart's Starling–what an enchanting and fascinating book. I love birds and Mozart–his letter is wonderful. Wishing you "well mell" through the holiday season, thanks Irene!

  11. What a wonderful concept for a book! I love the poems....and I really must try a seek and find poem. Tell us more about what that means. I'm imagining the poem refers to an illustration where the reader finds things similar to an 'I Spy' poem? As always, your blog post make my fingers itch to write. Thank you!

  12. Thank you both for sharing - this looks/sounds magical! Makes me want to go back to London; I've only been once. How fun to get to enjoy two Patricia Toht book celebration posts today, here and at Jama's! :0)

    Irene, so excited for you & Charles and CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?, too!

  13. How fun -- to travel to London via poems!!

  14. Thanks for the taste of London. I will visit for my first time in May next year, and these poems have made me even more excited.


Your thoughts?