Dakos adds another collection to the poetry shelf, this one taking its inspiration from the school bathroom.
Every educator knows the bathroom pass is an escape route for students. While neither condemning nor condoning that behavior, Dakos’ poetry explores the many reasons kids might need that release: to get away from a bully, to chat with a friend, to cry about something happening at home, to celebrate a victory or agonize over a defeat and, of course, to use the toilet. Standouts among the silly poems include "Trapped!," about a boy stuck in a stall during recess and "The Bathroom Dance," which speaks for itself. The highlights of the serious offerings focus on telling secrets ("Blabbermouth") and divorce ("Crying in the Bathroom"). Many, while outwardly funny, challenge kids to delve a little deeper: “We were in the bathroom, / the bully and I. / He punched me, / I punched him back, / and that’s when he cried!” While there is some potty humor, Dakos keeps it from getting too disgusting, and several poems focus on good bathroom hygiene. Reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s drawings, Beech’s vignettes masterfully capture the essence of each poem, and children will be able to read his characters’ facial expressions and body language like an open book.Another solid addition for classroom shelves…just cross fingers that it is not too inspiring. (Poetry. 6-9)