Book Reviews · Quick Reads · Six Book Challenge

Book Review: Wish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t)

Eleanor has read this QUICK READ as part of the Six Book Challenge.

For the Six Book Challenge, I challenged myself to read books entirely from the QUICK READS and EXPRESS FICTION sections of the Information Store. My first Six Book Challenge book is Wish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t): A Book of Poems and Pictures for Globe Trotters by Colin McNaughton (QUICK READS – Poetry 823.91). Remember, the motto of this year’s Six Book Challenge is “Read anything, Read anywhere”, so a book of poems about travelling is perfect!

wish you were hereSpring is here but it’s still pretty gloomy sometimes, and the summer holidays seem a long way off. Wish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t) is a book of poems about the weird and wonderful world of travelling, whether it’s in your imagination or in real life! It’s a lot of fun to read and might inspire you to go travelling yourself, or just to read all about a place far away from here. Colin McNaughton seems to know just what makes a trip funny – whether it’s the terrible food, the dangerous animals or getting carsick on the journey itself. He shows us people who don’t believe in aeroplanes (despite travelling in them) and aliens who seem odd to us but win a beauty contest on their own world. Colin McNaughton shows us a new version of the Australian classic Waltzing Matilda, a blues song about running away from home and a sea shanty all about pretending to go to Treasure Island – some poems are short, some are long, but you can be sure that they are never boring! I Wish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t) is imaginative and silly, and it tells readers that they can go anywhere they want to.

wanderlustWish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t) is filled with brightly-coloured cartoons which have all sorts of detail in them, so you can read this book over and over again. Some even teach you things, like the cartoons for Waltzing Matilda that has all sorts of Australian animals in the background, each saying their names. It’s great to read aloud – in fact, I highly recommend it, as the words are great fun to say, from the terrifying monster called the Oozily Woozily Plonk to the fish that lives deep under the sea called the Squidgeree. One poem is just the words “Mummy are we there yet? Are we nearly there?” getting louder and louder – guaranteed to annoy anyone you’re in a car with!

If you like weird words, funny cartoons, silly poems or even just want to read about somewhere warm on a cold day, try I Wish You Were Here (And I Wasn’t).

If you liked this, try…

The book or the DVD of Life of Pi by Yann Martell (BOOK ZONE 823.91 AND 823.92) for the story of a boy who is stranded with a tiger on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. The film by Ang Lee really brings out the incredible visuals from the book and it’s lovely to see some of the marvellous places described on screen.

For more fantastical stories of people going on adventures, try James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (QUICK READS 823.91), Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (BOOK ZONE 813.54) and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Book at BOOK ZONE 823.91 and graphic novel at QUICK READS 741.5973, as well as an e-book that you can access via the catalogue).

six book challenge

To sign up for the Six Book Challenge, speak to staff in the Information Store or check out the blog post here.


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