It would be hard to find a schoolage kid who has not read or heard a Prelutsky poem and who does not want to hear another. He plays with the language and encourages readers to revel in the game. Puns, jokes, wordplay and shape play, wit, silliness, slapstick, and joy abound. Some of the poems are about people, some are about animals. And some are about things that never were (and that one hopes never will be). Be warned: Read a poem once and you will love it. Read it several times and it will be part of you forever.
I've tried gulping hiccup water,
stood upon my hiccup head,
held my breath until my hiccup
hiccup face turned hiccup red.
Chronic cogitators are celebrated in "Quibble Q. Quing" (who thinks about things), and wild imaginations in "Purple Orangutans:" ("Rabbits and parrots play tag in the stars, / marshmallows march in the meadows of Mars... / these are a few of the wonders I find / in the magic museum I keep in my mind.") Children find a kindred spirit in Prelutsky, a poet who knows full well that overweight underdogs and chocolate-covered salami and Sniffing Snutterwudds are always worth a giggle. Stevenson's understated (but always expressive) line drawings suit this silly collection to a T. (Perfect for reading aloud to younger readers, but wordsmiths ages 9 and older will pick up all the puns.) --Karin Snelson