Troubador The Leaping Hare and the Moon Daisy

Released: 28/07/2021

ISBN: 9781800463349

Format: Paperback

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The Leaping Hare and the Moon Daisy


The poem that kickstarted her collection began with an encounter with a hare in the middle of the road. The poet stopped her car to let the hare run off, but it just stood still and looked at her. For Jill, this was a magical moment, and one that prompted her to learn something more about her curious friend, researching the creature, its habitat, and the folklore that surrounds it. Then a chain of thoughts, observations and reading led her to consider the bigger picture.

Having been inspired by another poet's debut collection, Jill began to think in terms of bringing out her own poetry book, with the intention of incorporating gifts to UK wildlife charities. Further inspiration came from other books, Alan Marshall's The Artful Hare, and The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. The latter highlighted a particular concern, as it set out to re-introduce vocabulary of the natural world dropped from the 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, including acorn, bluebell, conker, fern, willow and kingfisher. The poet agreed with the point made that people will only care about elements of the natural world if they know something about them. Anything adding to that information is useful.

A chance meeting with a hare, a lifelong appreciation of the countryside and the sheer joy of creating poems combined to give Jill Stanton-Huxton the wherewithal to fulfil the dream of so many poets – to hold her own volume in her hands. At the same time, she has the knowledge that her writing will bring pleasure to others, help to re-introduce those worryingly excluded words for the younger generation, and bring ever-needed funds to wildlife charities.

The author was invited to showcase the book in the 'local and new authors' area of whizzfizzfest, a celebration of children's literature inspired by Roald Dahl on the 30th June 2018.

Coles Bookshop in Bicester now has copies of the book in stock, and have put together a 'local author' book display. The author invited friends and family to an evening celebration of the book at the bookshop on the 29th June 2018.

The Book House bookshop in Thame are now stocking the book. The author was invited to the bookshop recently to sign a few of the books. This is wonderful news as it was the author's childhood bookshop where she spent all her pocket money!

The Old Hall Bookshop in Brackley now has the book in stock, and the author was invited to a 'local authors' day on the 22nd June 2018. It was an enjoyable few hours spent talking with customers and other local authors.

The author was invited to do a reading and Q&A session at Marsh Gibbon primary school on the 6th July. It was a fun few hours reading a couple of Chapters of the book and answering the children's questions.

Harvey and the Moon Bus were at the Buckingham Community Centre, Small Hall, Buckingham MK18 1RP on the 17th March 2018, 10am-4pm. It was a fun day with plenty of the books being signed and sold by the author. Harvey and the Moon Bus will be back at the venue on the 22nd September 2018, 10am-4pm. The 8th December 2018, 10am-4pm.

Gartocharn Primary School in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland were delighted to receive a copy of the book.

Buckingham Library were delighted to receive a copy of the book for their 'Children's Corner'.

Snettisham Primary School in Norfolk were delighted to have received a copy of the book for their 5-7 year olds 'Reading Corner'. The children will hopefully be reviewing the book and their comments added to our 'collage' pin board which we will be displaying at future events.

Dersingham Library in Norfolk were delighted to have received a copy of the book for their 'Story Corner'. They will also be reviewing it and providing feedback.

I have had the privilege of bounding along in the company of Jill Stanton-Huxton’s Leaping Hare. What a truly unique and exquisite collection of poems, as I imagined it would be from such an evocative title. It is wonderful to 'feel the love', the author's passion for our threatened creatures and woodlands, as it blows through the poems to the reader. I was spellbound as I turned each page, and Emily Brady's illustrations are exquisite and indeed the perfect complement.

There is a fascinating Introduction (pages ix to xii), which sets the collection in context and explains the debt the author owes to her parents, who knew the importance of enabling their children to spend time in the natural world – with a pair of family binoculars. As I moved from the introductory prose to the poems, I found Jill’s magical memories were triggering a host of half-forgotten ones of my own.

It was the intriguing title that made me want to read this beautiful collection in the first place. I love the way in which the Moon Daisy weaves her way through the pages. I admire the sense of balance between joy and wonder on the one hand, and concern and pain on the other. This judicious inclusion of this ‘light and shade’ seems fitting for a dappled woodland backdrop. There are, however, other habitats to explore and enjoy; the opening poem offers a coastal setting, while the kingfisher prefers the willows by the river and the fox prepares ‘to curl up tight nose to tail’ in an urban garden.

Like the author, I found myself very worried when I first heard that a significant number of ‘nature’ words (‘acorn’, ‘buttercup’ and ‘catkin’, to name but three) had been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary back in 2007. Many will be familiar with Robert Macfarlane’s book, The Lost Words (illustrated by Jackie Morris); the poignant reference to 'last words' in Jill’s final poem, ‘The Nightjar’, did not pass me by.

The Leaping Hare and the Moon Daisy will surely appeal to adults and children alike. The author’s subjects are most engaging; we marvel at the Moorhen in her ‘green stockinged feet’ and are introduced to the Dandelion with its ‘mustardy roar’. The collection can be enjoyed for these wonderful descriptions alone, but I sense most readers will allow themselves to be transported downstream on the metaphorical undercurrent of something a little deeper, something linked to the joys, sorrows and responsibilities that reflect our humanity.

by Caroline Gill

What a lovely little book. Even before opening it, just the look and feel of the book is pleasant. Jill’s introduction unashamedly promises the reader escapism; a romantic memory of childhood spent in idyllic surroundings, and Emily’s illustrations contribute wonderfully to this. In reality though, Jill takes us on a longer journey, and brings us back firmly, but gently to the real world. Not escapism, but much needed refreshment.

by P D Hammond

Truly delightful

This is a gem of a book, it would provide much pleasure to young and old alike. I first discovered Jill Stanton-Huxton as a writer through her children’s book ‘Harvey and the Moon Bus’ and this poetry book has the same compelling qualities of talented writing, engaging themes and beautiful illustrations that bring you back to it time and again and you never tire of dipping into it for treat of a read. Jill brings you close to nature in a charming way, 40 odd pages of pure delight!

by Sarah Mattintzioli

Jill Stanton-Huxton

JILL STANTON-HUXTON grew up in Buckinghamshire and has a BA Honours Degree, a Diploma in Humanities and a Diploma in Literature & Creative Writing from the Open University. She has had non-fiction articles, short stories and poems published in magazines, local newspapers and online. Jill has been a volunteer judge on the BBC Radio 2 500 words competition for the last two years, marking stories in the 5-9 year range. She was also the winner of The Buckinghamshire Family History Society Alan Dell Memorial Award for 2013.

The idea for the characters in the book came from her own childhood and family pets. The inspiration for the book comes from our beautiful and charismatic Norwegian Forest Cat, Macavity. He is six years old now and has become a local celebrity in the neighbourhood," says Jill. With so many of Macavity's cat antics to choose from and the fact that I'm always making up stories in my head ... it was only a matter of time before Harvey materialised

I plan on writing more books in the series ... what adventures will Harvey and his friends go on next? Only time will tell," says Jill. Harvey and the Moon Bus is the first in a planned series of Harvey books.


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