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The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice: Spectacularly Silly Poems

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

Published: 3 Sep 2020

Hardback, 160 pages

Recommended for age 5+ and 7+

By A.F. Harrold

Illustrated by Mini Grey

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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£11.09
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RRP £14.99
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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. 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.)Filled with colour illustrations and packed with silly rhymes, witty wordplay and thought-provoking story poems, this collection will delight children of all ages.

Tagged LKS2 and top pick

The Best Books Year 5 pack

Easy purchase - add our curated pack to your basket with one click

  • Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep
  • Stitched Up
  • The Invisible World of Germs
  • Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup
  • The Good Turn
  • Carnival of the Lost
  • Jummy at the River School
  • How To Be More Hedgehog
  • Spark
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks
  • The Girl Who Lost a Leopard
  • The Song of Lewis Carmichael
  • DWAYNE ('The Rock' Johnson)
  • The Thief Who Sang Storms
  • Bruno and Frida
  • The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice
  • Albi the Glowing Cow Boy
  • Honesty and Lies
  • Always, Clementine
  • The Mountain Rescue Dog
  • Beyond the Frozen Horizon
  • The Mermaid Call
  • All Four Quarters of the Moon
  • The Lost Girl King
  • The Light Thieves
  • Orla And The Wild Hunt
  • Black In Time
  • The Valley of the Strange
  • Spooked: The Theatre Ghosts
  • Fear Ground
  • The Book of Stolen Dreams
  • Secrets of the Dead
  • Rosie Raja: Churchill's Spy
  • Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief : Book 1
  • Resist : One Girl's Fight Back Against the Nazis
  • Swarm Rising
  • The Mystery in the Marshes
  • The Bookshop at the Back of Beyond
  • The Night Animals
  • Fortune's Fools
  • Middle School: Winter Blunderland
  • Bramble Fox
  • The Amazing Edie Eckhart: The Big Trip #2
  • Wren
  • Pizazz vs Everyone
  • Leon the Extraordinary
  • Safe

The Poetry LKS2 pack

Easy purchase - add our curated pack to your basket with one click

a curated, easy-purchase pack of poetry books suitable for the UKS2 classroom or school library. All books can be purchased individually. You may also be interested in other titles from our extensive collection.
  • Stars With Flaming Tails Poems
  • Chicken on the Roof
  • Lost Magic:
  • Adder, Bluebell, Lobster Wild Poems
  • The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice
  • Selfies with Komodos
  • Moon Juice Poems for Children
  • Quick, Let's Get Out of Here
  • Daydreams and Jellybeans
  • Hot Like Fire Bind-up
  • I Don't Like Poetry
  • Spaced Out Space poems chosen by Brian Moses and James Carter
  • When Poems Fall From the Sky
  • The Magic Box Poems For Children
  • A Year of Nature Poems

Reviewed by Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice is full of just that. Want some advice on how to feed a pet? How about avoiding a dangerous habit, or maybe you want to know the perils of a bouncy castle?! Poet AF Harrold and illustrator Mini Grey have created exactly the book you need!

This collection of poetry is an absolute pleasure to read. It makes the reader laugh out loud at both the words and pictures that accompany them. It’s a book that can only be described as genius and joyous; it would entice even the most reluctant reader! The poems are organised into different sections, with each one as equally enjoyable as the other. Subjects range from zombies to umbrellas, the secret life of cabbages and the magic an onion can do against bullies; there really is something for everyone. Interspersed between groups of poems are little gems that focus on you as the reader. An example of this is being invited to use theAdvice-a-Tron 216 to answer your questions, whilst later in the book being given the opportunity to create one of your own. Mini Grey encourages the reader to draw their own pictures, with spaces within the book included to do this.

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice: Spectacularly Silly Poems should be a staple in every classroom to inspire both future poets and illustrators. Fans of Andy Seed’s The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff  would devour silliness in poetic form. What is really super is this book is the equal ranking of both AF Harrold’s words and Mini Grey’s drawings, it feels like one could not exist with the other. Combined they offer a unique text that will bring sunshine to any setting and certainly should have pride of place on the reading for pleasure pile.

I am a lecturer in Primary Education specialising in English at the University of Manchester. Lover of picture books, poetry, non fiction and fantasy. Passionate about using children's literature to develop children's empathy, self-awareness and social justice and human rights.