cover image Ghastlies, Goops & Pincushions: Nonsense Verse

Ghastlies, Goops & Pincushions: Nonsense Verse

X. J. Kennedy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $13.95 (56pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50477-8

The rhymes and nonsense verse in this slim volume will enchant Kennedy's fans. Although not all of the poems are equally clever or well-phrased, all are guaranteed to be zany. Aunt Gilda, for example, ``wears twelve hat pins / All sticking out, so that / Those pesky crows with scratchy toes / Won't lay eggs in her hat.'' After he is eaten by a shark, archeologist Arthur McLarky's remains are only ``his shovel and car key,'' and Ignatz Pigfats gets his diet tips from a fried electric eel. At his best, Kennedy sprinkles his poems liberally with puns and rhymes: ``Whenever I / Eat ravioli / I fork it quick / But chew it slolistet .'' Barrett's bizarre drawings resemble 1940s Looney Tunes characters; a daffodil sports a coronet nose, an almost surrealistic baby is yanked up by the hair, and children with round Katzenjammer Kids faces stare at the world's nonsense with round button-eyes. Ages 8-up. (May)