SOMEONE USED MY TOOTHBRUSH!

AND OTHER BATHROOM POEMS

This zany assortment of poetry is loosely organized around a bathroom theme. The eclectic subject matter of the 21 poems runs the gamut from downright silly to slightly icky. Selections such as “Troubles,” which celebrates the restorative powers of a bubble bath, and “Ahoy,” an ode to imaginative playtime in the tub, will appeal to younger readers. However, the wry humor of other selections, including “The Medicine Cabinet” and “Chore,” provides a plethora of “euww” moments for less squeamish older readers (“It smells all musty. / It’s kind of crusty, / Damp and dank, / And even rusty. / It’s a chore / We all abhor, / Cleaning the toilet, / Where it meets the floor”). Nonetheless, Shields’s creative wordplay and clever wit moderate the yuck factor and consistently provoke laughs. Meisel’s cheerfully irreverent illustrations provide a droll backdrop (quite literally, in the case of the toilet poem) to the playful rhymes. Whether teachers like it or not, this is sure to see a lot of use during poetry units. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-525-47937-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2010

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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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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