Saturday, November 10, 2018

Review - I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
by Chris Harris
illustrated by Lane Smith
Date: 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated poetry collection
Pages: 192
Format: e-book
Source: library

Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Already lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, his hilarious debut poetry collection molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner: from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when "poetic license" gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It's a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It's a mischievous match made in heaven!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm Just No Good at Rhyming reminds me of some of Shel Silverstein's collections of poetry. Some poems are goofy, some are quite deep, others are kind of stupid... but, overall, this is a nice collection that children will probably enjoy. I'm not sure if it's suitable for very young children (some of the poems use rather difficult words, and there are a few concepts that might go over little ones' heads), but if a child can read this book to themselves, they'll probably get quite a bit out of it.

There's a tongue-in-cheek feel to the whole thing. Certain poems are referenced later in the book, there are jokes about the author and illustrator, and there's even a list of poems that didn't make the final cut (which is entertaining in itself). There are a few poems that utilize unique formatting to add another element of interest. The illustrations are heavily stylized and simple, but they add just enough interest and don't detract from the poems themselves.

I kept bookmarking my favourites as I went through. There were even some that made me laugh out loud. Some of the best ones (in my opinion) were: "Toasted Knight for Lunch Again?" (see below), "The Duel", "The Frog Race", "Somebody Stole My Bagel's Hole", "Re-Verse", "Deep in the Land of Ca'Narot", "Live Each Day Like It's Your Last", "I'm Shy on the Outside", "Two Roads", "Jack Sprat (Updated)", "Good Things", and "I Am Not Even Going to Talk About This Next Thing".

This book was a lot of fun to read, and it would be fun to read aloud, too. If you like Shel Silverstein's poetry books, you might like this collection.

Quotable moment:

Toasted Knight for Lunch Again?

Mama Dragon
Ate Sir Tom,
And gave her child
Sir Gustav.

Baby said,
"No armor, Mom--
I want him
With the crust off!"

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.14 out of 5 ladybugs

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