Crawley’s latest anthology focuses on school-themed poems. The 20 poems range from amusing to thought-provoking and satirize the stereotypical attitudes and behaviors of school employees and students alike. From schoolyard crushes and cafeteria food to procrastination and the escape of the class snake, this covers it all. Here readers will find that Mrs. Riley is a teacher from the dark side of the moon, that teachers should not be allowed out in public on the weekend and that sometimes walking to school, no matter the weather or distance, beats taking the bus. “True or False” analyzes the difficulty one boy has with whether or not to cheat—he accidentally saw a smarter boy’s paper—and “Last” explores the positive attitude of one child who is not athletically inclined. “I Before E, Except” deals with pesky spelling rules, while “New Kid in School” is likely to assuage some fears of the recently relocated. Callen’s rather droll pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations go hand-in-hand with the poetry, providing cartoon vignettes of hapless, racially diverse characters. A solid collection, but not a substitute for the likes of Silverstein and Prelutsky. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-565-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010



With an eye toward easy memorization, Katz gathers over 50 short poems from the likes of Emily Dickinson, Valerie Worth, Jack Prelutsky, and Lewis Carroll, to such anonymous gems as “The Burp”—“Pardon me for being rude. / It was not me, it was my food. / It got so lonely down below, / it just popped up to say hello.” Katz includes five of her own verses, and promotes an evident newcomer, Emily George, with four entries. Hafner surrounds every selection with fine-lined cartoons, mostly of animals and children engaged in play, reading, or other familiar activities. Amid the ranks of similar collections, this shiny-faced newcomer may not stand out—but neither will it drift to the bottom of the class. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47172-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004



A dozen familiar dinosaurs introduce themselves in verse in this uninspired, if colorful, new animal gallery from the authors of Commotion in the Ocean (2000). Smiling, usually toothily, and sporting an array of diamonds, lightning bolts, spikes and tiger stripes, the garishly colored dinosaurs make an eye-catching show, but their comments seldom measure up to their appearance: “I’m a swimming reptile, / I dive down in the sea. / And when I spot a yummy squid, / I eat it up with glee!” (“Ichthyosaurus”) Next to the likes of Kevin Crotty’s Dinosongs (2000), illustrated by Kurt Vargo, or Jack Prelutsky’s classic Tyrannosaurus Was A Beast (1988), illustrated by Arnold Lobel, there’s not much here to roar about. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 1-58925-044-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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