Books by Kalli Dakos

GET ME OUT OF THIS BOOK by Kalli Dakos
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 11, 2019

"An ambitious blending of emotional and psychological tools with fantasy that will serve the right reader well. (authors' note) (Picture book. 5-8)"
Max, a formerly anxious bookmark, shares their journey to find strategies to manage their fear of the scary pictures in books. Read full book review >
A FUNERAL IN THE BATHROOM by Kalli Dakos
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2011

Dakos adds another collection to the poetry shelf, this one taking its inspiration from the school bathroom. Read full book review >
OUR PRINCIPAL PROMISED TO KISS A PIG by Kalli Dakos
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Read 10,000 books this year, challenges Principal Ms. Juliet, and she will kiss a pig. Dakos and DesMarteau's principal, who will go to great lengths to get her charges to read, has already pulled some odd stunts, though kissing a pig is an invitation to make a child's heart sing. The narrator has volunteered her pig Hamlet—a Shakespeare spouter of his own design—to get the buss. He cribs and tweaks some famous lines to register his disapproval: "To kiss, or not to kiss, / The principal in school? / Why choose a pig / To be their fool?" When Hamlet's eyes fall on the fair Juliet, however, he suddenly becomes much more interested. She gasps, then delivers on her promise. DiRocco's artwork is fittingly busy and possesses good Elizabethan costumery and lots of funny detail. Would that the references for Hamlet's self-styled lines at the end contained a more complete rendering of the source material. Still, an interesting twist on a familiar event. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
PUT YOUR EYES UP HERE by Kalli Dakos
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2003

Dakos, an elementary-school reading specialist, offers another school-themed collection of poetry, this time describing a school year in an unusual classroom. A creative, quirky teacher—Ms. Roys—reaches her students in some extraordinary ways, with funny accessories, odd collections, and unique room decorations. A little girl named Penny is the first-person author of many of the poems; other selections come from the viewpoints of her classmates and by Ms. Roys herself. The teacher is a real personality created through the mosaic effect of the poems: she bites her nails, writes poems for her students, and thinks of all the children who have attended the school throughout the decades as benevolent ghosts floating through the building. The collection includes 46 poems, many of them very short, and a short play for three characters. Some of the poems are sing-songy, some are silly or funny, and some are thoughtful snippets of life in the elementary-school world. Teachers in second- through fourth-grade classrooms will find this a useful and amusing addition to classroom libraries. (Poetry. 7-9)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 31, 1999

PLB 0-06-027940-0 Dakos's collection of 23 poems from the perspective of items found at school satisfies the I Can Read requirements of simplicity and word repetition, but may not lure beginning readers back for a second time. The material is uninspiring: The school's front door says, "Keep me shut,/I have the flu,/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Achooooooooo!/Keep me shut,/I have the flu." A book sings "Happy Birthday" to a ruler, then sings "Happy Unbirthday" when the ruler says that it is not its birthday. Also appearing are a couple of clever items—one on a kidnapped pencil and another on a comb pulling hazardous duty—along with some typographic elements that amiably convey the idea that words are malleable; Reed's illustrations possess geniality and character, making some inanimate objects very personable. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
THE GOOF WHO INVENTED HOMEWORK by Kalli Dakos
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

A collection of 36 poems that paint a funny, affectionate, and sometimes poignant portrait of a school year. All the poems can stand alone but they are loosely related by repeated details, such as a runaway rooster and a poet/custodian. The majority of the selections are humorous. Some of the best, such as the title poem, are written in dialogue and capture children's voices and concerns authentically. ``Bonkers'' is a hilarious litany of excuses that drive the teacher crazy, ``Thanksgiving'' takes a wry look at would-be disasters that turn out all right in the end, and ``The Book That Made Danny Cry'' is a fitting tribute to the power of a good read. That last poem and others balance the collection with a more serious view of life, such as ``Back Away! Back Away!'' about a terminally ill classmate, and ``Four Wishes'' about a city kid's yearning for wide open spaces. Some of the poems are stronger than others, but this is an effective and welcome collection of verse, ably supported by Brunkus's fine and funny black-and-white drawings. (Poetry. 7-11) Read full book review >
MRS. COLE ON AN ONION ROLL by Kalli Dakos
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1995

Fewer selections (32 vs. 38), shorter verses, full-color illustrations, and an absence of the serious poems of If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand (1990) gear Dakos's collection to a younger audience than her earlier work. The poems are energetic, upbeat, and have a humorous slant on the trials and triumphs of the primary years. Perhaps the titles tell all: ``Mrs. Wren Lost Her Glasses Again,'' ``The Day Before I Wear the Birthday Crown All Day in School,'' ``Muddy Recess,'' ``Elemenopee,'' ``I Lost My Tooth in My Doughnut,'' ``My Project's in the Toilet,'' ``There's Something in My Book Bag, and It's Slimy.'' The poems are varied in form—some have regular meters and rhyme schemes, while others are written in free verse. Many of them make use of repetition, so they will be easy for early readers to enjoy, memorize, and recite. With artwork as kinetic and multicolored as the graphics on ``Nickelodeon,'' this volume will appeal to those who appreciate the anything-can-happen environment of Miss Nelson's classroom or the Magic School Bus. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8) Read full book review >