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ORANGUTAN TONGS by Jon Agee Kirkus Star


Poems to Tangle Your Tongue

by Jon Agee & illustrated by Jon Agee

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0315-8
Publisher: Hyperion

More clever wordplay from the Prince of Palindromes—not to mention 2006’s Smart Feller / Fart Smeller and Other Spoonerisms—these 34 rhymed riffs on variously challenging tongue twisters will trip up even lingually limber readers. Though incorporating both short phrases (“Knapsack Straps,” “a used yellow yo-yo”) and such longer constructs as “reading rotten written writing really is a pain” and “If you offer moose muesli, / They’ll thank you profusely,” at first glance the brief verses look easy to read aloud—a deceptive impression that the pale, comical, watery-looking cartoon illustrations do nothing to dispel. “Purple-Paper People” depicts the purple-bedraped meeting room of the Purple-Paper People Club, into which an intruder has brought an orange sheet. “I Saw Esau” features a group of children and a seesaw, with diagrammatic lines indicating who saw whom. Agee acknowledges Alvin Schwartz’s A Twister of Twists, A Tangler of Tongues (1972) as a major source, but adds his own distinctive mix of simplicity and sophisticated wit to this top-notch tub full of tangue tonglers. (index) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)