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THE BOOK OF BOYS (FOR GIRLS) & THE BOOK OF GIRLS (FOR BOYS) by David T. Greenberg

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

By David T. Greenberg (Author) , Joy Allen (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: July 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-36210-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

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)