Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009




MOLE, John

The Mad Parrot’s Countdown



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Poems by John Mole


The Mad Parrot’s Countdown is John Mole’s second Peterloo volume of poetry for children. Boo to a Goose (Peterloo Poets, 1987) won the 1988 Signal (Poetry for Children) Award and was one of Charles Causley’s ‘Book of the Year’ choices in the Times Educational Supplement. The Mad Parrot’s Countdown includes poems written over a number of years and achieves a fine balance between the serious and the comic, the familiar and the absurd. In this volume are ordinary life ghost stories, riddles and puzzles, plus poems about jokes and jugs, heat-waves and hero-worship, classrooms and carnivals, moths and monkeys, and cats and bats. There are also some pig-songs, a cure for insomnia, and a very funny poem in which a child gives a painting lesson to ‘Henri Toulouse Lautrec’ who ‘Couldn’t paint to save his neck’.

Mary Norman’s lively, often haunting, illustrations are the perfect complement to these poem’ various moods.

From Reviews of Boo to a Goose:

“an accomplished and wonderfully varied collection of poems for children that works equally well for adults. Not to be missed.”
Charles Causley / Times Educational Supplement

“Here we have real people in real relationships, doing ordinary things, but seen by a poet in a way that leaves room for your own imagination. The poems go on living after you’ve closed the book . . . the book I’d most like if I was trapped on a desert island.”
Brian Morse / co-judge, Signal Award

“Boo to a Goose is the thinking person’s gift to a child.”
Peter Forbes / The Listener

“John Mole is the ideal poet to give pupils an entry into the best contemporary poetry.”
The School Librarian


Circles and Squares

Circles always meet themselves
At every turning of the way
On journeys that complete themselves
By never ending, greet themselves
Round corners then repeat themselves
Like questions. They

Are not those squares which frame themselves
From every angle that they make,
Which boastfully proclaim themselves
As always right, and name themselves
So shamelessly they shame themselves
But never notice their mistake.


Price 6.95 per copy post free (4.30 post free to Associate Members)
Illustrations: by Mary Norman
Publication: 1990 (56 pages laminated paperback)