THE BOOK OF BOYS (FOR GIRLS) & THE BOOK OF GIRLS (FOR BOYS)

With uncommon superficiality, Greenberg develops the familiar “What are little girls/little boys made of?” rhyme into a back-and-forth between the sexes. In alternating verses, two trios of preteens—energetically posed in contemporary clothes and settings—display supposedly characteristic behavior while dissing each other: “They’re made from sparkly fingernails. / Gossipy? A lot!” receives the response, “They’re made from snakes and mice, / Laundry starting to rot.” Topics of dissension include pranks, noise, farts and general odors (“Girls have a smell / like moldy chicken pie”), styles of play and “borrowing” each other’s possessions. The tone does change toward the end, with more positive sentiments leading even into praise, but despite such weak efforts to assert the contrary, and a lovey-dovey get together at the end, the overall relationship remains one marked by separation and mutual incomprehension—and not very good poetry. Whiny rants and antediluvian attitudes are not what good, shared read-alouds are made of. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-36210-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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DINOSAURS GALORE!

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2005

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OTHER GOOSE

RE-NURSERIED AND RE-RHYMED CHILDREN'S CLASSICS

“Little boy blue / come blow your tuba. / The sheep are in Venice, / and the cow’s in Aruba.” Pairing frenetic and garishly colored art to familiar rhymes in “more modern, more fresh, and well…more Goosian” versions, Seibold stakes out Stinky Cheese Man territory to introduce “Jack and Jill / and a pickle named Bill,” the Old Woman Who Lived in a Sneaker (“She had a great big stereo speaker”), Peter Pumpkin Pickle Pepper and about two dozen more “re-nurseried” figures. Against patterned or spray-painted backgrounds, an entire page of umbrella-carrying raindrops float down, a bunch of mice run up (“the clock struck one; / the rest had fun”), cats fiddle for Old King Coal and others, Jack B. Nimble makes a lifelong career out of demonstrating his one trick and a closing rendition of the counting rhyme “One, Two, I Lost My Shoe” is transformed into a clever reprise as many of the characters return to take final bows. Sparkles on the cover; chuckles (despite some lame rhyming) throughout. (Fractured nursery rhymes. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6882-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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