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.
Usually I don’t like to say this in polite company, but ahem . . . I smell a rat!
Actually four rats, nattily sporting bowtie, necktie, fedora, and boater, casually working the stripes, football jerseys, overalls, scuba gear and yes, bunny ears, as they boogie, strut, scamper and cavort through the pages of this brand new poetry collection by our studly but relentlessly mischievous Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis.
Due props to him and award-winning illustrator Anna Raff for creating this zany celebration of 22 “Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of ” in World Rat Day (Candlewick, 2013), destined to be an instant favorite among munchkins and short grown-ups who enjoy quirky-fun animal poems, what poet Bobbi Katz calls “ear food for elementary school kids.”
If you were a chocolate mustache, And I were a peanut-butter purse, Then we would be living somewhere Else in the universe.
~ J. Patrick Lewis (“Elsewhere in the Universe”)
I’ve always said the best poems are the ones that feel like they were written just for you.
Well, the one and only J. Patrick Lewis, our much beloved Children’s Poet Laureate, has written an entire book of poems just for me! Look:
He actually had me at the title — I’ve made no secret about my obsession with mad love for chocolate and mustaches. But when I opened this bountiful feast of 125 funny, cuckoo, clever, punderful, endearing, burp-inducing, useful, snorty, short, twisty, wacky, vigorously vivacious verse, I totally flipped out of town. My tines tingled, my spoons swooned, my knives knocked.
While we’re in a bare bananas frame of mind, do you by chance also belong to the, “I’m the only one in my house who eats bananas, and hate when the entire bunch ripens at the same time” club? Oh, the pressure to eat them all!
This just in: There’s hope! Supposedly, if you peel a banana top to bottom with the stem side down (like monkeys do), the strings (phloem bundles) are less likely to adhere to the fruit.
I tried this with my breakfast banana the other day, and it didn’t work. Those strings were still clinging and messy and positively mocking me! What am I doing wrong? They just won’t leave me alone. But you might have better luck. My only consolation is that I have Pat’s poem, which I’ll henceforth read several times before battling any future strings.
Phloem bundles? Who knew they had such an important function — carrying nutrients to the entire fruit? Mother Nature doesn’t make any mistakes. But she sure likes to string us along (sorry, couldn’t resist). ☺
Thanks a bunch, Pat!
To alleviate your string stress, wrap your lips around this (no strings attached):