SOMEONE USED MY TOOTHBRUSH!

AND OTHER BATHROOM POEMS

This zany assortment of poetry is loosely organized around a bathroom theme. The eclectic subject matter of the 21 poems runs the gamut from downright silly to slightly icky. Selections such as “Troubles,” which celebrates the restorative powers of a bubble bath, and “Ahoy,” an ode to imaginative playtime in the tub, will appeal to younger readers. However, the wry humor of other selections, including “The Medicine Cabinet” and “Chore,” provides a plethora of “euww” moments for less squeamish older readers (“It smells all musty. / It’s kind of crusty, / Damp and dank, / And even rusty. / It’s a chore / We all abhor, / Cleaning the toilet, / Where it meets the floor”). Nonetheless, Shields’s creative wordplay and clever wit moderate the yuck factor and consistently provoke laughs. Meisel’s cheerfully irreverent illustrations provide a droll backdrop (quite literally, in the case of the toilet poem) to the playful rhymes. Whether teachers like it or not, this is sure to see a lot of use during poetry units. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-47937-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

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HONEY, I LOVE

Iffy art cramps this 25th-anniversary reissue of the joyful title poem from Greenfield’s first collection (1978), illustrated by the Dillons. As timeless as ever, the poem celebrates everything a child loves, from kissing Mama’s warm, soft arm to listening to a cousin from the South, “ ’cause every word he says / just kind of slides out of his mouth.” “I love a lot of things / a whole lot of things,” the narrator concludes, “And honey, / I love ME, too.” The African-American child in the pictures sports an updated hairstyle and a big, infectious grin—but even younger viewers will notice that the spray of cool water that supposedly “stings my stomach” isn’t aimed there, and that a comforter on the child’s bed changes patterns between pages. More problematic, though, is a dropped doll that suddenly acquires a horrified expression that makes it look disturbingly like a live baby, and the cutesy winged fairy that hovers over the sleeping child in the final scene. The poem deserves better. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009123-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2002

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Both playful and enlightening, period.

A BUNCH OF PUNCTUATION

A collection of peppy poems and clever pictures explains different forms of punctuation.

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “A Punctuation Tale” kicks off the proceedings with a punny description of a day full of punctuation; goodnight is “cuddled / in quotation marks.” Ensuing poems discuss the comma, the apostrophe, the dash (“A subdued dude / in tweet and text / he signals what / is coming next”), the colon, the exclamation point, and ellipses. Allan Wolf’s poem about this last is called “…” and begins, “The silent ellipsis… / replaces…words missed.” Prince Redcloud’s “Question Marks” is particularly delightful, with the question “Why?” dancing diagonally down in stair steps. The emphatic answer is a repeated “Because!” Other poems pay tribute to quotation marks, the hyphen, and the period. Michele Kruger explains “The Purpose of Parentheses”: “inside a pair / ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) / of slender curves / we’ll hold your few / inserted words.” The final poem is editor Hopkins’ own, “Lines Written for You to Think About” (inspired by Carl Sandburg), urging young readers to write their own verses employing (what else?) punctuation. The 12 poets included work with a variety of devices and styles for an always-fresh feel. Bloch’s illustrations are delightfully surprising, both illustrating each poem’s key points and playfully riffing on the punctuation itself.

Both playful and enlightening, period. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-59078-994-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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