School, family, mealtime, animals, and imaginary creatures are among the everyday and outlandish subjects Madan visits in this freewheeling compilation of 100 poems. The poetic styles represented are just as varied, including punchy short rhymes, longer narrative poems, limericks, parodies of well-known poems, and nonsense ditties. The overall tone is more uniform, tending toward the wisecracking and impish ("Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill/ Lurching, lurching up the hill/ Testing out the new physiques/ Doctor Stein has built this week"). Another common denominator is humor (the narrator of "Things I Learned the Hard Way" shares some useful advice: "Don't stuff sausage in dad's shoe/ Don't fix broken eggs with glue/ Don't hide treasures in the waste/ Don't brush teeth with garlic paste"). Madan also plays with words for the sake of the rhyme: "Our mums make us do yoga/ They say it'll help us grow-ga/ We wear our little toga/ And quietly tiptoe-ga." The author's screwball, black-line cartoons work in tandem with the text, in some cases delivering the poems' punch lines. A high-spirited read-aloud. Ages 6–12.
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013 Release date: 03/01/2013 Genre: Children's