Whether readers love poetry, riddles, and rhymes or just like to laugh, this richly varied collection of original poems is sure to keep them coming back for more! J. Patrick Lewis's fun and accessible poetry features delightful wordplay and a variety of subjects and forms featured in a compendium that counts down from the first day of school to the last. Paired with Ethan Long's lively art, these poems will have readers wishing there were more days in the school year!
The premise of the book is a poem a day for the entire school year, and Lewis comes through. The poems are not necessarily attached to specific times of the year, although there are Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa, St. Patrick's, and Easter poems around the general dates those holidays are found during the school year. The book counts down from 180 days of school left to one day left. The poems focus on a variety of topics, from Bigfoot to toilet inspectors, principals to the Kentucky Derby. There are also a number of poem types, useful for teachers interested in using this book on a regular basis to entertain and to educate. One of my favorite uses of Haiku was found on day fifty-seven, entitled "Country Haik-lues." In this section, a haiku provides a clue as to the country it describes; for example, "Where everybody/wears a caste, curries favor,/and favors curry." Limericks, riddles, shape poems, free verse, and nonsense verse are also found throughout. Illustrations for the various poems are done in pencil on paper and are consistently detailed and humorous. This is a fun book that could suit a number of classroom purposes. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.