Simon Rees
Animals, Beasts & Creatures

November 2010. 36 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-901993-32-9 (= PSPS 3)
£5.50 (+ 1.00 p&p), €5.50 (+ 1.00 p&p), US$ 8.00 (+ 1.50 p&p)

Simon Rees began writing poems about animals, beasts and creatures (some real, some mythical, some just improbable) forhis niece, and has since added more to the collection. Some have been set to music, and others have formed the basis ofThe Song Contest of the Birds and Beasts, a children's oratorio by the Welsh composer Mervyn Burtch, performed by achildren's choir, two soloists and the orchestra of Welsh National Opera in Birmingham in 2010. The songs are in manydifferent bouncy, dancy metres, with outrageous rhymes and absurd observations, and are fun to sing (make up your own tunes),to recite aloud and to read to children. From the Auk to the mythical Zim-Zim Bird, by way of the Fat Sand Rat, the Manticore,the Umbrellabird and the Ynambu, Animals, Beasts & Creatures explores the animal world from A to Z.

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Excerpt from Animals, Beasts & Creatures

The bookworm, dear child, is a lover of books
And it shows a particular taste,
Which is not for their contents, and not for their looks
But more for their paper and paste.

It adores a new book, which it quickly devours
Leaving holes in the binding and pages
And whereas one paperback takes a few hours
A directory lasts it for ages.

If a book is quite old, it will choose where it goes,
If the ink isn't much to its liking,
And the patterns it leaves, with holes in neat rows,
Are often remarkably striking.

It hasn't a clue what the books are about,
But it brings all its friends and relations
Who enter quite thin, and exit quite stout,
Leaving thousands of small perforations.

If a book is bound up in a number of tomes
It can take a whole week to get through them,
But if any more bookworms are looking for homes
It takes just a moment to chew them.

So, child, if you feel the temptation to munch
On the corners or edges of pages,
Resist it: it's left to the bookworm to lunch
On the works of the poets and sages.

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