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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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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For places where the first-grade shelves are particularly thin.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF FIRST GRADE

The traditional song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” gets a school makeover as readers follow a cheery narrator through the first 12 days of first grade.

“On the first day of first grade / I had fun right away // laughing and learning all day!” In these first two spreads, Jennings shows the child, who has brown skin and a cloud of dark-brown hair, entering the schoolyard with a diverse array of classmates and settling in. In the backgrounds, caregivers, including a woman in hijab, stand at the fence and kids hang things on hooks in the back of the room. Each new day sees the child and their friends enjoying new things, previous days’ activities repeated in the verses each time so that those listening will soon be chiming in. The child helps in the classroom, checks out books from the library, plants seeds, practices telling time and counting money, leads the line, performs in a play, shows off a picture of their pet bunny, and does activities in gym, music, and art classes. The Photoshop-and-watercolor illustrations portray adorable and engaged kids having fun while learning with friends. But while the song and topic are the same, this doesn’t come close to touching either the hysterical visuals or great rhythm of Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003).

For places where the first-grade shelves are particularly thin. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266851-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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