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HOT POTATO by Neil Philip


Mealtime Rhymes

edited by Neil Philip & illustrated by Claire Henley

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: April 19th, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-31554-3
Publisher: Clarion

A rich, if skimpy, portion of reprinted verse, this pairs generally cheery scenes of children and grownups chowing down around tables, on a picnic blanket, in a tub, and sundry other venues, with the likes of Russell Hoban’s encomium to a “Friendly Cinnamon Bun,” and Lewis Carroll’s to “Beautiful Soup.” Dads come off as clueless in Michael Rosen’s title poem and John Ciardi’s “Mommy Slept Late and Daddy Fixed Breakfast.” Best is Douglas Florian’s plea to “Send my spinach / Off to Spain. / Parcel post it / On a train. / Mail it, / Sail it / On a ship. / Just don’t let it / Touch my lip.” The contents are available elsewhere, and the theme’s a popular one, but this is still worth dishing up to readers whose appetites aren’t sated by the likes of Lee Bennett Hopkins’s Yummy! Eating Through a Day (2000) or William Cole’s classic Poem Stew (1981). (Poetry. 7-10)