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

Chris Harris, illus. by Lane Smith. Little, Brown, $19.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-316-26657-4
This debut collection of verse from TV writer/producer Harris hits a poetry trifecta: high energy, rhymes that can rival Cole Porter’s (“Nothing is impossible.... Every tooth is flossable”), and a torrent of ideas. Some poems turn on simple wordplay (“The Ice Cream Mondae”); others are surprisingly introspective (“I’m shy on the outside, but inside my head?/ I’m not at all shy—I’m outgoing instead”) or appear sappy on the surface, only to catch readers off guard with an ironic swerve. Parodies of nursery rhymes, meta-poetry that builds on earlier poems à la nesting dolls (“Read me the poem that’s titled ‘The Poem That’s Titled “The Poem That’s Titled ‘The Door’ ” ’ ”), and comments stuck to the pages provide more surprises. Smith’s homage to the 1950s aesthetic of artists such as Cliff Roberts is updated with diverse characters and loaded with over-the-top raucousness, and he includes some visual jokes all his own. The whole production is a worthy heir to Silverstein, Seuss, and even Ogden Nash: “If I ever find myself holding a gecko.../ I’ll lecko.” Ages 6–up. Author’s agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017
Release date: 09/26/2017
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-316-26659-8
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-316-42710-4
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