cover image A Pizza the Size of the Sun

A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Jack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, $17.99 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13235-4

Poetry's bad boys are back again, teaming up to take another swipe at stuffiness. Prelutsky's predilection for playfulness percolates throughout this collection of slyly subversive rhymes, and he couldn't ask for a better partner in crime than Stevenson, whose droll, minimalist sketches so enlivened the duo's previous escapades (The New Kid on the Block; Something BIG Has Been Here). Once again Prelutsky demonstrates a robust appreciation of the absurd--and an uncanny knack for turning every possible subject on its head. Here his verse ranges from the short and sweet (""My mother makes me chicken,/ her chicken makes me cough./ I wish that when she made it,/ she took the feathers off"") to poems of Jabberwockian silliness (the entry that begins "" `I'm ceiling fad!' a money boned./ `Alas!' a carrot pride"" is just one example). The pages are peppered with kinetic black-and-white drawings; like Thurber, Stevenson wrings a wealth of humor and emotion out of a few dashes of ink. If a laugh is what's needed, just hand over the keys and let these two drive. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)