Praise & Press



“Firecrackers is a treasure trove of treats! The stunning illustrations feel both fresh and classic, framing a wonderful variety of poetry, word play and stories. This delightful gift hardback is a perfect present, ideal for sharing or cherishing alone.”

Tamara Mcfarlane

“Firecrackers is packed full with explosive words and colourful ideas. The poems range from the pleasingly quirky to the more thoughtful and reflective. There’s plenty here that will spark the imagination of a child.”

Rachel Rooney

‘I first came across Zaro Weil’s poetry in the 1990s when looking for materials for my anthology to be published by Walker Books and chose her Wake Up as my opener. So I was thrilled to learn that she has a whole bumper collection coming soon from ZaZaKids Books. It’s not just a ‘Firecracker’, but I think it will be a fire-lighter that will ignite in children, a life-long passion for poetry. I can’t wait to see the whole book.’

Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub


‘Fun, fantastical and full of variety: a wonderful collection of poems to inspire and delight.’


‘Whoopee! This bouncy, brilliant book is full of fun.’



Many thanks for Firecrackers. I really do like it. The variety of material is excellent. I enjoyed the American rap and the rhyming play – and I want to know what happened to the shepherd who named his sheep.

In A Field of Daffodils the illustration really helped me to capture the vastness – “no basket large enough for April”. The Badger Square Dance is fun and the picture of the badgers dancing springs off the page. I recognise exactly the feeling in Love The Weed – “You bet I’m strong. I was pulling one way, and the whole earth was pulling the other way, and I won.” The poem on the back cover is great too.

Brenda Marshall

English 4 – 11

Published jointly by the English Association and UKLA

Firecrackers, December 29, 2017

posted in: Zaro Weil | 0

Today’s poem in our Poetry Calendar comes from a forthcoming collection I managed to get a sneaky peek at: Zaro Weil‘s Firecrackers.

This cornucopia contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haikus, but also short plays and fairy tales which lend themselves to a phrase that is increasingly seen when talking about contemporary poetry events for adults, but not one often used with young children: Spoken Word.

Whilst some poems work best on the page (for example shape poems, where the layout is an integral part of the poem), and some readers of poems enjoy them most in a quiet, private space, other poems – and experiences of them – are given a completely different vitality when performed. Whilst this collection could certainly be enjoyed alone, curled up on the sofa (Firecrackers is generously illustrated throughout with over 150 black and white line drawings and ink washes by Jo Riddell), I think it’s real strength is in celebrating word play, rhythm, the joy of language out loud. For this reason, I’m really pleased that when the book’s published in the Spring it will come with a link to an audio recording of many of the playful pieces featured.

‘Think of It’, the poem I chose for our Poetry Calendar today, is perfect for us on the cusp of the New Year, looking to what we hope to do in 2018; at this time of year seed catalogues are some of the most frequently re-read imagination-sparking material in our home.

Reproduced with permission

Firecrackers by Zaro Weil will be published on World Poetry Day, March 21 2018. Whilst the majority of the pieces contained are new and original, as an added bonus Firecrackers aslo contains the complete text of the now classic ‘Mud, Moon and Me’ published over 25 years ago by Orchard Books in the UK and Houghton Mifflin in the USA.

“Firecrackers” by Zaro Weil and Jo Riddell (Troika / Zaza Kids Books)

If there’s one thing we’ve begun to notice lately, it’s that there’s a seriously inspirational revival in the amount of awesome poetry anthologies coming to market for children.

Perhaps now, more than ever, kids need books that take them away from the day to day humdrum modern world, and let their imaginations fly.

That’s the idea behind “Firecrackers” by Zaro Weil with illustrations by Jo Riddell. Inside this book you’ll find an impressive collection of poems, raps, haikus, fairy tales and flights of fancy on a diverse range of subjects but all with huge child appeal.

We’re complete suckers for poetry books anyway, so we couldn’t wait to dive in.

Poem anthologies lend themselves so well to being read aloud, in fact I’d urge parents to give poetry books a go for bedtime reading, to chop and change around from stories for a mo and let clever verse fuel your children’s dreams.

“Firecrackers” might’ve arrived with us just a day too late to latch it onto bonfire celebrations around November the 5th but this book will elicit the same oohs and ahhs as a well organised firework display.

Poems range from silly subjects that will tickle your little ones, to more thought provoking stuff to slide into those gaps in the day where you just want to kick back, relax and hear something soothing.

Jo’s illustrations are superb too, simple and child-friendly without distracting too much from the verses.

There’s truly something for everyone here in “Firecrackers”, and we’re so happy to see children’s poetry having such a fabulous resurgence in popularity, perhaps giving the next generation of young poets plenty of food for thought.