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A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success. More

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Author: Kenn Nesbitt

Illustrator: Ethan Long

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Publisher: Jabberwocky, an Imprint of Sourcebooks,

Material: hard cover

Summary: These are poems about the things that are important (and funny) to your kids: ketchup, Sleeping Beauty, time machines, robots, Cinderella, frogs, spaceships, warts, puppies, stinky stuff, monsters, and elephants. There are more than 100 poems, most of them no longer than half a page. This is an illustrated poetry book for children, with CD of the author reading 38 of the poems.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, remedial reader, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.7

Age of Child: Shared with 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "Read this one, Mommy." We spent almost an hour flipping between the table of contents and the poems, and there was plenty of laughter in between. Later, she wanted to listen to the CD to hear the poems.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a great way to make poems real for kids. They cover their favorite subjects, are accessible language-wise, and funny. I decided to let my daughter take the lead on selecting poems, and it worked out well. She stayed with the book a lot longer than she would have if we had taken them in order. The current trend of including a CD with the book is great, particularly for parents who feel intimidated by poetry.

Pros: Comics-type illustrations, humor, and timeless kids topics combine for this collection of poems that will engage kids. The simplicity of the presentation make it a perfect selection for reluctant readers at the elementary level.

Cons: None, really. I just wish a few more of the poems were on CD.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that pre-readers will love when you read to them, and developing readers will be proud to read on their own.

If You Liked This Book, Try: HIP HOP SPEAKS TO CHILDREN   YOU READ TO ME, I'LL READ TO YOU! Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together   WHAT A DAY IT WAS AT SCHOOL!

Educational Themes: Use this book to show that poetry can be about anything; it can tell a story or describe something; it can be funny or serious; and have a few words or a lot. The author reads some of the longer poems on the CD, making it particularly useful as a read-along tool for developing or remedial readers.

Notes: The Reading Tub received an advanced reviewer edition of this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - poetry, picture book, interactive learning

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2009

Other Reviews: No Critics' Reviews or reader feedback at the time of our review.


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