Blast Off!


From riddles, clerihews, and rhyming couplets, to fairytales, Christmas angels, and magnesium… With poems to curl up with, poems for bedtime, and poems just crying out for audience participation, Blast Off! is a cheeky, curious, and lyrical collection for children.

Cathy Benson’s playful illustrations bring Blast Off! to life for younger readers, whilst for slightly older readers, there are familiar fairytales that pose troubling perspectives, and a gentle, yet haunting articulation of the adult world: I see them, hundreds of them in boats / like the one we went fishing on, / their faces like my kid brother’s / the day he fell into the pond(‘Six O’Clock News’).

Blast off on an exciting journey into space, the past, fairytales with a difference, under your bed, and, above all, into the imagination.

Ten, nine, eight…

In stock (can be backordered)

What Writers and Critics Think

  • There's a poem for every mood in this book – warm, funny, exploring many of the concerns pertaining to primary children: it feels like a hug. Blast Off! is illustrated by the detailed and charming ink drawings of Cathy Benson, who illustrated most of the children's poetry published by the late Gerard Benson. Suitable for younger readers round the fire with mum and dad or for older primary readers on their own.

    Liz Brownlee, Poetry Roundabout
  • A very welcome addition to the world of children's poetry. It has children – their interests, their concerns, their sense of the ridiculous – firmly at its heart ... There is a rich vein of poems running through the book which draw on intertextual knowledge and subvert traditional texts. With its blast of myriad themes and forms, the collection really does live up to its name!

    Alison Kelly, ReadingZone


Carole Bromley is married with four children and twelve grandchildren. She has two poetry collections for adults, A Guided Tour of the Ice House and The Stonegate Devil. She was shortlisted for the Manchester Writing for Children Award in 2014 and in 2015 highly commended in the Caterpillar children’s poetry competition. Her children’s poems have been performed at the CLiPPA awards, published on the Guardian Children’s Books website and in Let in the Stars (MMU Publications) and A Poem for Every Night of the Year (MacMillan).