Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Last Day of Poetry Month

A whale is stout around the middle.
He is stout about the ends,
& so is all his family
& so are all his friends.

He's pleased that he's enormous,
He's happy that he weighs tons,
& so are all his daughers
& so are all his sons.

He eats when he is hungry
Each kind of food he wants
& so do all his uncles
& so do all his aunts.

He doesn't mind his blubber,
He doesn't mind his creases,
& neither do his nephews
& neither do his nieces.

You may find him chubby,
You may find him fat,
But he would disagree with you:
He likes himself like that.

Seems like a good time to mention that Mary Ann Hoberman's The Llama Who Had No Pajama has been reprinted in paperback. If you read a lot of children's poetry anthologies, you've undoubtedly already encountered some of these poems: "Yellow Butter" is a favorite in food collections and "Let's Dress Up" is in the best anthology ever, Talking Like the Rain.

This isn't a collection that challenges the reader much: it's easy-going verse that's easy to enjoy. At its best, it finds the wonder in ordinary things: an entire poem about the potential for fun implicit in a bowl of applesauce, or a vision of a "Magic Hand" that can "cover anything,/No Matter what its size." The view of childhood as fresh and innocent inevitably dips into archness, ala A.A. Milne, but not often enough to be unbearable

Small illustrations make good use of the space in and around the poems, decorating them without overwhelming them. (3-8)


Anonymous Anonymous bligged...

That's really adorable! Thanks for including it. And farewell to poetry month.

5/01/2006 4:17 PM  

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