BOOK REVIEW / Bookshop Window: The magic bicycle - Brian Patten, illustrated by Arthur Robins: Walker, pounds 7.99.

Brian Patten's brilliant poetry for children is given a handsome outing in this endearing story. By the normal standards of children's verse this is an epic poem, a long saga about Danny Harris and his unstoppable bike. The world tour starts when Danny knocks a witch into a ditch, and continues in Patten's normal subversive vein:

Passing through London on his way to Dover

He knocked a policeman and a guardsman over.

Danny whizzes through France and Spain and even goes for a dip:

The floor of the Mediterranean Sea

Is a very strange place for a boy to be.

In the end Danny is only too happy to get off. But his journey is a zinger.

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