cover image Dirt on My Shirt

Dirt on My Shirt

Jeff Foxworthy, , illus. by Steve Björkman. . HarperCollins, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-120846-1

The bestselling author of You Might Be a Redneck If ... and the host of the TV show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? turns his hand to versifying with this innocuous collection of rhyming poems about ordinary childhood experiences: “I like to play and splash and sing/ When I take my bath/ But it’s the bubbles that I make myself/ That always make me laugh!” The humor stays mild-mannered and stresses the bonds of friendship and family, as in “Friends,” which begins, “Friends come in all colors/ And sizes and shapes/ Friends share their jump ropes/ And friends share their grapes.” Björkman (Aliens for Breakfast ) punches up the text with plentiful illustrations in a cheery cartoon style. “Friends,” for example, pairs with a picture of a grinning cat and dog, dressed up like pirates and together carrying a small treasure chest. A poem about sitting in a grandfather’s lap gains interest when Björkman envisions it taking place in a small fishing boat, grandpa and grandson napping, a huge fish just about to bite on their line. As a bonus, a note at the front challenges readers to find the 30 creatures depicted in the book’s most lavishly illustrated poem, aptly titled “What Do You See?” Ages 4-7. (Mar.)