Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, April 13, 2015

Out and About: a first book of poems by Shirley Hughes

Out and About: a first book of poems
Written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes
Candlewick Press. 2015
ISBN: 9780763676445
Preschool thru Grades 3
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Beloved British author/illustrator Shirley Hughes introduces a new generation of readers to her bustling, neighborhood where anything is possible. Her London is filled with diversity and multigenerational families all going about the day-to-day activities that make up a child’s life.

Out and About: a first book of poems is a year in the life of Katie and her younger brother, Olly. Hughes says, “This collection of poems gives a taste of what Katie and Olly might find when they are out and about.” Divided into the four seasons, we follow these two curious youngsters as they take pleasure playing in mud, enjoying the sunshine, rolling down a hill or a day at the beach.

I have to admit that the poem Spring Greens resonated with me, because as I write this I do believe Spring has finally arrived here in the Northeast.

Bulbs in pots,
Twigs in jars,
Dads in the streets, washing cars.
Greens in seasons,
Trees in bud,
Sky in puddles,
Ripples in mud.
Birds in bushes, singing loud.
Sun tucked up in a bed of cloud.

Accompanying every poem are Hughes joyful pen and watercolor illustrations that mirror the action perfectly. The combination of full and double-page spreads show children enjoying themselves as they open the back door to see what wonders each day has to offer.

The poems from Out and About are ideal for sharing at story time. Place one or two in your Poetry Jar and bring them out at that special time between stories. Use in the class room to spark conversations about how students spent their weekends or holidays. 


  1. It sounds like a great book--thanks for the recommendation!!

  2. I have to get this book! And Why don't I have a poetry jar?! Off to finish the jam...