SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK

In his first collection of verse, the author of Little Boy Soup (1990) catches the school scene, from missing the bus on Monday morning to snuggling in with ``This book in bed,/This first FIRST book/I've ever read!'' In the meantime, there are not only challenges (``Does a capital q/That looks like a 2/Make sense to you?'') but emergencies (``I've gottogotothebathroom/The bathroom the bathroom'' has a comically urgent rhythm), rivalries, romances, and a quintessential ``worst boy in the whole class''—``wilder than a billygoat/And meaner than a pig''; school food; an impossible assignment (``But I'm half wild with fright!/You said to write two pages/And get them done tonight!''); there's also the title poem, an amusing tall tale of an excuse. It's all recognizable, neatly scanned, and genuinely funny. Lewin catches the lively characters—quizzical, wide-eyed, mischievous, or rueful—in just a few broad, adroitly drawn black lines to which she adds watercolor in cheerful colors. A winner- -to read aloud, pass around, and chortle over again. (Poetry. 6- 11)

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 1993

ISBN: 1-878093-87-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1992

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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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In a word, a feast for the eyes, brain, and artistic imagination.

THE WORDY BOOK

Words and pictures connect in surprising, stimulating ways.

Talk about painting with words. Author/illustrator Paschkis plays with them, too, and encourages readers to do likewise. In the process, she explores the elasticity and seemingly endless possibilities of language. The vividly colored, wittily detailed, folk-style paintings on double-page spreads organically incorporate words into the artwork in wondrous, creative ways. Words frequently repeat in different sizes and colors; illustrated images include words that sound or are shaped like them, are variations of them, rhyme or nearly rhyme with them, sort of resemble them, are sort of spelled like them, etc. A bouquet of flowers in a vase sports roses exuding the scents of slumber, sultry, shush, and other evocative words beginning with S; on a daisy’s petals readers find dizzy, doozy, lazy, jazzy; lief, leap, life, and more decorate the leaves. Delightful words—many of which readers won’t know, and that’s OK—flex vocabulary and spelling muscles to the max and also enhance readers’ visual and auditory senses when the pictures are taken in. Furthermore, the spreads are connected to thought-provoking questions. Some inspired the paintings, or vice versa, and themselves contain examples of wordplay. Persons depicted have diverse skin tones. The book makes a great springboard for creative-thinking activities in writing and art units in classroom and library programs. Keep dictionaries handy. Endpapers abound with swirling words readers can savor (and look up).

In a word, a feast for the eyes, brain, and artistic imagination. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-59270-353-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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