In his first collection of verse, the author of Little Boy Soup (1990) catches the school scene, from missing the bus on Monday morning to snuggling in with ``This book in bed,/This first FIRST book/I've ever read!'' In the meantime, there are not only challenges (``Does a capital q/That looks like a 2/Make sense to you?'') but emergencies (``I've gottogotothebathroom/The bathroom the bathroom'' has a comically urgent rhythm), rivalries, romances, and a quintessential ``worst boy in the whole class''—``wilder than a billygoat/And meaner than a pig''; school food; an impossible assignment (``But I'm half wild with fright!/You said to write two pages/And get them done tonight!''); there's also the title poem, an amusing tall tale of an excuse.
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