cover image Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles

Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles

Douglas Florian. Dial, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4042-6

Ludicrous dilemmas, oddball situations, and quirky twists of fate feature heavily in Florian’s poems, which are accompanied by his thickly scrawled b&w drawings (not all seen by PW). Instead of chapters, Florian groups his verse into the “aisles” of the eponymous store, and as the first entry explains, this collection is all about silliness and fun: “There’s laughs galore/ Inside this store/ And fun that runs for miles.” The categories are somewhat arbitrary (the poems in “Tons of Puns” use few of them, for instance), but there are still plenty of laughs to be had as Florian puts a clever spin on some traditional nursery rhymes (“Old Mother Hubbard/ Went to the cupboard/ To fetch her poor dog a bone./ But when she got there/ The cupboard was bare./ She ordered Chinese on the phone”), deploys an array of limericks and jokes-in-verse, and introduces a bevy of strange creatures: “What does a/ Baga Baga/ Dinga Donga do?/ I’m not sure, but/ There’s one behind you!” Ages 9–11. (Feb.)