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A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 23

We kicked off the advent calendar with a Birdbook sample from the future. For our penultimate entry, then, a Birdbook sample from the past, and our very first volume. Tis the most Christmassy of birds, the fat old robin!

Poem by the ever-compelling Bethany Settle and artwork by the very talented Katherine Leedale.


The dark day I first
Grasped intuition
You were my reward
That which is needed
May be singing
To you
From several miles away
I learnt backwards,
Years later,

You sung me
What is
Beneath skin, feathers
So light – reboned, rescaled
I watched me from you
How hungry we both were

Now, years later,
We sing in all directions
We are the same,
Robin. Light,
Matter has dressed you in red,
But I can put it on
(And most days, do)

A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 22

More stocking fillers from the editors! Kirsty delves into the pillowcase today. My clearest memory of Christmas morning was the traditional orange in tin foil, which I’m beginning to think was only a tradition for my family.

Orange on Silver

Space bomb
out of space
out of wardrobe
out of stockings
take my key
take my filth away
peel the stash of magazines
the clinging pith
the parasite segment
the squirt
and leave my family
a ripe, respectable body.

Selection Box

Choose me, Pigtails.
A cigar of a bar
stubborn with fudge.

Choose me, Roller Skates.
Soft from central heating,
caramel melting.

Choose me, T-Rex.
A bag that is air
and air and there a sweet.

Choose me, Banana.
Stick-you peanuts
and a crust of rippled cocoa.

Choose me, Gossip.
Jelly thumblets.
Crystalled with sugar.

Choose me last, Worryball.
One vicious bite
and I’ll shatter into sticks.

A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 20

Stocking fillers!

Time for some brand new poems. You’ve done all your shopping, but! You’re with a few gaps here and there. The pillowcase isn’t quite stuffed. The stockings hang somewhat limply where they ought to bulge. Time for some traditional Christmas top-up gifts.


A snowman’s plucked eye,
a fire nest’s dislodged egg.
Stubby underworld agent
who vanishes in the crowd.
Coal, you’re a born tumbler,
bunker to scuttle to hearth
to skin you bright with dust.

Wooden Soldier

Mercenary, partisan or deserter –
young, headlong from a skirmish.
His gloss the gloss of shined boots,
of blood, of a new glass consolador.

A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 19

Day 19 of the Sidekick Advent Calendar brings us to the final character from our series on A Christmas Carol, a ruddy-faced young man who embodies the Christmas spirit and drives Scrooge up the wall.

Yes, today’s guest is Fred, Scrooge’s ever-optimistic nephew, in a poem written by Sidekick editor Kirsten Irving. Each card will fit a size DL envelope. Click here for the printable PDF and let the party begin!

A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 17

Our third and final Christmas monster appears! The most dangerous yet? Quite possibly!

Move over, Krampus!

*pant* Can’t believe I ran up that big hill for *pant* this!
While Krampus himself is easy to spot, with his frightening visage (that badass German children are totally unafraid of), this final demon is all the more terrifying because they could be anywhere. Worse: they could be anyone.

We’re talking about The Artist. Waiting under cover of darkness to create dissident, corrupting images and weld together unnatural words, this fiend is a master of disguise.

Thankfully, Sidekick Books has published Confronting The Danger of Art, by noted scholars Ian McLachlan and Phil Cooper.* A useful guide to spotting the Artist in your town and reporting them to the appropriate authorities, this pamphlet may well become your best friend.

Here is an excerpt on the threat posed by Art to our communities, our children, our very lives.


A Sidekick Advent Calendar: Day 16

On the 16th day of Christmas, the Sidekick Advent Calendar gives to you the jolliest boss in fiction!

In 2011, we commissioned six splendid poems to print as Christmas cards, starring characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Now we’re giving each one away as a download, so you can print them yourself, and have a very moral Christmas (sort of)! Each card will fit a size DL envelope.

Today’s presence is Mr Fezziwig, Scrooge’s magnanimous employer, in a poem written by Wayne Holloway-Smith, host of the salons immortalised in our anthology Follow The Trail of MothsClick here for the printable PDF and get customising your card!


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