Ebullient wizards of comedic timing and wordplay, these two pun meisters should be arrested for having way too much fun. Having tickled the funny bones of kids everywhere for decades, they’ve each published dozens of award winning books that celebrate the many wonderful possibilities of poetry. Such joy! Such cleverness! Such vigorous versifying! Veddy veddy good.
Now, a new book by either one of these beloved poets is a real treat, but having them write a book together is like having your cake and eating it two, three, maybe five thousand times. In Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems (Schwartz & Wade, 2014), Mr. Lewis and Mr. Florian have set their engines at full throttle, pulling out all the stops when it comes to inventing 21 crazy dazy cars of the future.
But someday our fantastic cars
Might look like cool dark chocolate bars,
Banana splits, hot dogs or fish —
Or any kind of ride you wish.
We’ll get to those chocolate bars in a minute, but for now, consider a paper car that you can shred if it breaks down, a bathtub car that keeps you clean while you drive around, a rubber band car that bounces along the road. Feel like hoofing it? I’d love to ride the high-heel car just so I can honk the shoehorn. And get a load of the Sloppy-Floppy Nonstop-Jalopy — a veritable museum on wheels complete with a salad bar. Whatever these poets are havin’ for lunch, please gimme some.
Another person who should be arrested for OD-ing on fun is illustrator Jeremy Holmes. His wildly imaginative depictions of these free-wheeling vehicles meld steampunk, comic book, and surrealism with a touch of around-the-world-in-eighty-days. You gotta love an artist who adds his own comic touches with speech bubbles, strategically placed mustaches, even that uber cool word “Gad-Zooks” just because he wants to. Prepare to have your mind blown with his glorious, expansive, fetchingly curious attention to detail. Each of his pictures is a poem in itself.
Which is to say, combine these witty, high octane verses with amazing, fully-realized art and you’re in for a thoroughly entertaining, fanciful ride. Kids and kids-at-heart will want to make up their own hybrid automobiles, whether they choose to go eeeelectric or with fossil fuel.
Now, while I’m pumped up about all the poems in this book, I must admit to being a teensy bit partial to the food poem-mobiles (big surprise). So today, I’m sharing “The Egg Car,” “Hot Dog Car,” and “The Banana Split Car.”
Are you ready to motorize your metaphors and take these babies for a spin? Vvvrrroom!
* * *
THE EGG CAR
The egg car doesn’t need a wheel —
You roll it down the street.
Just plop on top from stop to stop
And steer it with your feet.
Make no mistake: there is no brake —
You slow down with your legs.
Or else you’ll crash, most likely smash,
And sit in scrambled eggs.
© 2014 Douglas Florian
* * *
HOT DOG CAR
My hot dog car is lots of fun
And comes with relish on a bun.
It runs on tons of sauerkraut
Or mustard when you’ve just run out.
Enjoy its fine and fragrant smell.
Its color has no parallel.
My hot dog car —
You just can’t beat it.
And when you’re done
You simply eat it.
© 2014 Douglas Florian
* * *
THE BANANA SPLIT CAR
That’s not brown paint,
It’s chocolate fudge.
And here and there,
A whipped-cream smudge.
The light on top’s
A real cherry!
They sell this car
At Motor Dairy —
This Model T(spoon’s)
One sweet deal.
Besides, it’s got
© 2014 J. Patrick Lewis
* * *
Not only does Mr. Cornelius like the idea of cars that look like cool dark chocolate bars, he wants them to actually be chocolate bars. So, with the help of fun-size Milky Ways, M&M’s, and a dozen of his closest Teddy Graham friends, we created candy cars to chew on while you’re reading Poem-Mobiles.
We used Wonka Chewy Sprees (main ingredient: fun) for the steering wheels, and dipped a chopstick into some melted chocolate to stick things on. Any cars breaking the speed limit were immediately consumed. (We didn’t eat any of the drivers; we’re not cannibals.)
Mr. Cornelius gives this book a rousing 4 paws up, and he loves the three wild and crazy guys who created it. Think they’re runnin’ on a full tank? Well, neither is he.
* * *
POEM-MOBILES: Crazy Car Poems
written by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian
illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
published by Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House, 2014
Poetry Picture Book for ages 4-8, 40 pp.
**Starred Review from Publishers Weekly**
***Check out this 7-Imp Interview with Jeremy Holmes to see more of his incredible art, including many drawings and final spreads from Poem-Mobiles.
* * *
Teacher Librarian, Poet and Photographer Jone MacCulloch is hosting today’s Roundup at Check It Out. Rev your engines and zoom over to sample all the cool poetic offerings being served up in the blogosphere this week.
*Interior spreads from Poem-Mobiles posted by permission of the illustrator, text copyright © 2014 J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian, illustrations © 2014 Jeremy Holmes, published by Schwartz & Wade Books. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.