Local Children’s Literature Author Publishes Book of Poetry | Investigator’s Log

Author, teacher and children’s literature lover Dr. Mark West announced the release of The Peeve and the Grudge and Other Preposterous Poems published by Charlotte-based Warren Publishing.

Through this witty and whimsical collection, West explores strange words and idioms that children – sometimes adults – often misinterpret. The poems are animated by illustrator Ana Zurita.

Inspired by his time as a preschool teacher, West “loves how children react to words or phrases they don’t know or misunderstand.” Kids really do say the craziest things, and by looking at the words through kids’ eyes, West encourages adults to see their point of view. Through reading aloud, adults can instill a love of reading in children and help them explore language while sharing a few laughs.

Having used one of his favorite poems as inspiration for the title, West recalls a conversation with a young child who wondered what a pet peeve was. “She seemed disappointed when I told her a peeve wasn’t a fish, and she said she was going to call the fish Peeve anyway.” As West’s poetry indicates, children have a unique and fascinating approach to language that, if nurtured at a young age, can inspire a love of reading and writing.

West is a professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught children’s and young adult literature for over twenty-five years. Before entering academia, he worked as a preschool teacher and professional puppeteer. Connect with Mark on his “Storied Charlotte” blog or YouTube channel of the same name.