Vinca Press

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This wonderfully illustrated collection of animal poetry by Jane Mann creates characters of well-known animals we take for granted or love to hate. Quirky and informative, the animals are given their own voice in poems that both appeal to adults and have great educational value for kids.

Earth Love, August 2009

A charming children’s poetry book focusing on creatures people love to hate has been written by a Marlow author. Jane Mann’s Give us a Chance challenges the preconceptions and prejudices we have for spiders, snakes and sharks through lively rhyme and prose. The collection of short poems for children aged eight to twelve is published by Vinca Press and offers fresh insights on twenty-six feared or loathed animals. The hated stinging wasp for example pollinates flowers while bats and spiders control harmful insect populations. The Woodend author promised to write a book for children or create a wild flower meadow after winning a prestigious Mail on Sunday literary award in 2007.

Caroline Lucas, MEP, and leader of the Green Party said, “Give us a Chance encourages us to think about the world around us and treat it with greater respect. Young people are the future guardians of the environment and this collection of poems will help them develop a better understanding of why that task is important.”

Maidenhead Advertiser, May 2009

Give us a Chance! This awesome book is packed with poems about all the creatures we love to hate like spiders and snakes! It costs £4.99 and is available now from all good bookshops! (picture of a little dog saying “ I love this book of animal poems”).

Animals and You, September 2009

This book presents a fun set of poems about wildlife written from the unique perspective of the creature itself. Many of the creatures featured in the poems are those that we either fear or love to hate. They include verses about those unappreciated little things like snails and spiders and even feature poems about sharks and crocodiles.

The poems are entertaining and informative and, according to the author’s own website, “open our eyes to the often unnoticed but remarkable skills and appearances of some of the creatures and give a new perspective on potential benefits hidden behind the scenes. Did we know for example that the hated stinging wasp controls other pests?”In terms of the style and writing and the vocabulary used, I feel the book would be best suited to the younger end of the primary range. I can see my Y1s loving hearing them read aloud and trying to guess which of the creatures is being described. Further up the school the children would not be stretched either by the form or depth of the rhymes but the book may provide a useful step-off point for discussions or topics on conservation and ecology and at £4.99 it’s not too great a stretch for the budget!

TES, 2nd September 2009