Introduction

A child who loves reading is ever eager to pass through a certain corridor with an array of books for one glance at their picture jackets. The books serve as a window into another world for the child.

About the Poet

Wesley Leonard Johnston Magee was a British poet and children’s novelist who lived from July 20, 1939, to October 21, 2021. He authored six professional poetry collections and over 90 children’s books, spanning poetry, novels, plays, picture books, and anthologies. Poetry Pie, a Cbeebies series, featured his children’s poems. Magee gave poetry performances in schools all around the United Kingdom, as well as Germany. 

Theme

More often than not, readers read to escape reality and enter into a world that they desire. Reading serves as a means of solitude. The imaginary world opens a whole new arena of adventures and emotions for the reader. 

Stanza I

On the way to my classroom
I walk down the long corridor,
past the hundreds of books,
their picture jackets
 colourful and bright,
each one a window onto worlds
I have never visited.

The child walks through a corridor where there is a striking display of books. All the books have a picturesque approach with their jackets. Each of the books is a means to enter a different realm, a new world that the child has never before visited.

Stanza II

I can see elephants 
on a plain in Africa,
a jet airliner cruising
far above the white clouds,
waterfalls, icebergs,
and cavemen fighting a sabre-tooth
while the family cowers in a cave.
 Such places! Such worlds!

The book serves as a window that teleports the child into new lands for him or her to explore. The child envisions African elephants, they seem to come alive as he turns the pages and each book and page narrates a different story and tours a new space. Sometimes it’s a cloudy sky with soaring jets and sometimes they recount battles between men and mammals.

Stanza III

Back in a class there are windows
looking onto a world I know well.
 I see the deserted playground,
the grey, November sky,
rows of houses and beyond these –
the chimney of a closed-down factory.

Coming back to the class, the child has returned to familiar surroundings, one which lacks adventure and excitement. Unlike the cloudy sky of the faraway land, the sky outside the class is grey and the playground is deserted. The environment lacks joy.

Stanza IV

I'm always willing
to take the register to the office.
or messages to other classrooms
for then I can walk down
the long corridor and gaze once more
through the book jacket windows
onto worlds I have never visited.

The child is ever eager to wander the corridors even if it means work because then he or she will be able to steal a glance at those alluring books that promise episodes of adventures.