Whether capturing fun or chronicling items that disgust, Cleary and Watson again brilliantly open the world of verse,...

UNDERNEATH MY BED

LIST POEMS

From the Poetry Adventures series

The sixth installment in the growing list of Poetry Adventures focuses on just that: lists.

Here Cleary and Watson present illustrated rhymed and unrhymed poems cataloging zany subjects ranging from wished-for delights to unsavory remnants moldering away in the school microwave or under one’s bed. Though one might expect the 16 poems collected here just to center on objects, like things that are “Yellow” or left “At the Lost and Found,” Cleary also provides inventories of what happens, for example, in April, at the bus stop, in the classroom, or at camp, inspiring children to observe not only things, but actions they encounter. He cleverly points to the irony of the “glove compartment” that contains nearly every household item except gloves and, in an especially hilarious poem, suggests that dinosaurs went extinct out of boredom and deprivation, due to their having “no skateboards, / … / no ice cream, / no smartphones, / no bicycles, / no french fries, / no amusement parks, / and / no Oreos.” Throughout, Cleary’s creative lists are animated by Watson’s light, vividly colored, and warmly drawn illustrations, spotlighting deliciously gory details like bug bites and scratches earned at camp or slimy, lime-green “snot” covering everything an allergy-plagued boy touches.

Whether capturing fun or chronicling items that disgust, Cleary and Watson again brilliantly open the world of verse, enticing young readers to dive in. (further reading) (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-9343-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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The attempt to present science in a humorous way is a well-meaning one, but the effect seems rather lame for today's...

FACE BUG

For kids who love bugs! Gruesome but fascinating photomicrographs of 14 different bugs are the focus of this unusual science book that combines poetry, line drawings and scientific facts to bring bugs alive for curious children.

The bad puns flow relentlessly as a collection of small bugs, illustrated in rather dated-looking black-and-white line, visits the Face Bug Museum, where they learn to drill like a carpenter bee, experience the stinkbug’s stench, sip on nectar at the snack bar and measure the speed of the green darner dragonfly. The insects on display at the “museum”—the hickory horned devil, goldenrod stowaway moth, praying mantis and other exotica—are portrayed in superb, full-color micrographs by renowned nature photographer Siskind. The large close-up of the “Clydesdale of all flies,” the American horsefly, is particularly impressive. Humorous poems by U.S. Poet Laureate Lewis describe each insect; of the dogday harvestfly cicada, he writes, “What?! Two faces / On this mutt? / Creepy. Never / Mind his butt.” Four pages of backmatter give the insects the opportunity to “narrate” a little more information about themselves. The insect jokes keep going all the way to the author bios, so determined is the book to remain light and accessible.

The attempt to present science in a humorous way is a well-meaning one, but the effect seems rather lame for today's visually sophisticated kids and might work better as an app than a book. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-925-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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OTHER GOOSE

RE-NURSERIED AND RE-RHYMED CHILDREN'S CLASSICS

“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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