Thursday, May 2, 2019

Poetry Picture Book - No More Poems! by Rhett Miller

Illustrated by Dan Santat
2019, Megan Tingley Books, Little, Brown & Company
HC $17.99  Bosler Juvenile section
48 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.17 - 123 ratings
My rating:  4  

My comments:  There's been some controversy about one of the poems in this collection, "Brotherly Love."  I've got to admit that I think it's a riot, but I love it as an adult.  I do think it's not quite the poem to be included in a book of poetry for kids from 7 to 10, and I'm really surprised that the editor didn't think about all the parents (and teachers) that might potentially be up in arms about a poem that tells some pretty descriptive ways to kill your sibling....smothering with a pillow, dousing with gasoline, drowning by dunking three times...
     All the poems are really funny.  He borrows freely from Shel Silverstein, at least two of his poems are direct knock-offs - which I enjoy a lot.  We all have mentor texts from which we write."The Bathtub's Too Small" is a longer retelling of Silverstein's "Crowded Tub" and "My Homework" is definitely a reworking of Silverstein's "Sick."  Great fun.
     Of the 23 poems, only a couple have a rhythm that doesn't quite work for me.  All in all, they're funny, well-written, clever, and just plain fun!

In Defense of Rhet Miller's No More Poems!  Excellent thoughts...

My Secret Karate

There’s a type of karate I specialize in
I invented it all on my own
No one has witnessed my secret karate
It’s meant to be practiced alone

I stand on my left foot and raise my right leg
Using muscles in abs, thighs and tush
And with just the toe of my special blue sneaker
I make the toilet flush

I toggle the lever or mash down the button
Or lean on the handle just so
That way my fingertip never gets yucky
Thanks to the skills of my toe

Courtesy’s something my mom always taught me
Starting when I was a kid
So using the toe of my special blue sneaker
I lower the seat and the lid

My secret karate is practiced in private
In public bathroom stalls
I don’t mean to brag but my balance is awesome
I never touch the walls

I don’t have a name for my potty karate
I might call it Tae Kwon Doo
Or maybe I’ll say I’m a third degree black belt
In the top secret art of Kung Poo

Goodreads:   Acclaimed singer-songwriter Rhett Miller teams up with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat in a riotous collection of irreverent poems for modern families. 
          In the tradition of Shel Silverstein, these poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags--and toilet humor to spare--these twenty-three rhyming poems make for an ideal read-aloud experience. 
          Taking on the subjects of a bullying baseball coach and annoying little brothers with equally sly humor, renowned lyricist Rhett Miller's clever verses will have the whole family cackling.

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