Dakos, an elementary-school reading specialist, offers another school-themed collection of poetry, this time describing a school year in an unusual classroom. A creative, quirky teacher—Ms. Roys—reaches her students in some extraordinary ways, with funny accessories, odd collections, and unique room decorations. A little girl named Penny is the first-person author of many of the poems; other selections come from the viewpoints of her classmates and by Ms. Roys herself. The teacher is a real personality created through the mosaic effect of the poems: she bites her nails, writes poems for her students, and thinks of all the children who have attended the school throughout the decades as benevolent ghosts floating through the building. The collection includes 46 poems, many of them very short, and a short play for three characters. Some of the poems are sing-songy, some are silly or funny, and some are thoughtful snippets of life in the elementary-school world. Teachers in second- through fourth-grade classrooms will find this a useful and amusing addition to classroom libraries. (Poetry. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-81117-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2003

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“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

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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Picking up where his third gathering of poetry and pictures (Candy Corn, 1999) left off, Stevenson gives wry or gently sentimental twists to 25 more everyday sights: fathers and sons in the park; bicyclists; old people and buildings; his paintbox; his wastebasket; a mountainous hamburger. As usual, he is fondest of collections, depicting sets of salt-and-pepper shakers, piles of garbage bags (“dressed in black, / wearing bow ties, / ready for the opera.`), an upside down forest of guitars hanging from a music store ceiling, and the like, with slapdash brush or pen work that captures essences with brilliant, offhand precision. The poems are equally casual, equally right, presented in a lively and attractive variety of type sizes, fonts, and colors. Tailor-made for sharing, in class or on a lap. (Poetry. 7-9, adult)

Pub Date: March 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16718-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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