“Bag O’ Goodies” by Jolly Walker Bittick

Bag O’ Goodies

Jolly Walker Bittick
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN: 978-1737030942
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (05/2022)

Okay, I’m going to begin by awarding an A+ to this author for his selection of title. Talk about a perfect fit. Although the cover could have more pomp and circumstance to catch the eye, the actual title “Bag O’ Goodies” states exactly what the reader will be gifted once they open the cover on this one.

A great collection of short stories and poems, this author has touched upon a variety of topics and themes. Calling up emotions and scenes that range from humor to drama; to scary neighbors, cool motorcycles, oddities and jocularities, writer Jolly Walker Bittick should be applauded for his ability to create and compile a menu that will have readers coming back for more. Because there are too many to cite as examples of how good his work is, I will mention some of my absolute favorites to give you a feel for the flow, talent and fun you will find when you sit down with this book.

Poems were a great branch of the ‘Bag O’ Goodies’ tree. One entitled, “That Shorty Sam” was beyond brilliant. Although Sam lived his eventless life in a trailer, he worked his nine to five days and watched his TV to pass the time. One day, however, when an intruder breaks in and challenges short, slim Sam to a man-to-man battle, the small Sam fights with all his might, leaving the reader to laugh at what eventually fells the intruder…and his dignity.

Within these pages the reader also meets up with “Old Man Digby,” that’s all about young love, a crotchety old guy with a gun, and the glowing eyes of a cat that you wouldn’t want to meet in an alley.

A heartfelt beauty comes in the form of “A Child’s Joy,” which hit me in the soul and made me stare at the pictures of my grandchildren that sit on the top of the desk, dresser, and hang on the walls around my room. This writer’s words relate to all of us the beauty and positivity of a child. How their eyes light up with happiness over even the most trivial of things and makes the negative disappear in an instant. It speaks of how a child truly loved is blessed with an internal greatness that makes them want to never quit; the love they feel makes them want to succeed in all they do throughout life. Taking in this author’s words, you will feel a variety of emotions as he tells of the ease in which a child can feel and see truth, and how adults need to never forget to let those children be, see and enjoy glee—and instead of running to a store to purchase a toy, simply “foster a child’s joy.”

After a wealth of emotions arise from an addition such as that, the writer will then also add another completely different creation like, “A Short Poem” that offers a simple statement which will make you laugh out loud.           

There’s even a short story in this, broken up into two parts, called “Blue Ridge Riders.” It is so good and so multicolored that I think more should be done with it. Why? Because the bikes, the characters, and Guildy’s Tavern located on U.S. 211 would look fantastic on the Big Screen.

There is so much to enjoy here that to sum up the review, I chose to “steal” from the author, himself. You see, when Mr. Bittick ends his book he signs off with a final farewell that is fit for kings and court jesters alike. Entitled, “Farewells and Farts,” his goodbye poem tells you about his book “full of literary parts” that’s “better than screams and jeers, and better than thieving kids stealing shopping carts.” This author proved to me there’s nothing better than a bag o’ goodies that can be enjoyed by kids and adults and, at the same time, “a bum and a hag.”

I wish Mr. Bittick good luck with the next one. Because this book full of treats was a whole lot of fun! (See that? Even I can rhyme.)

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