Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weather's Fine! What's the Weather Inside? by Karma Wilson

I Dare Ya

If you think poems are stupid,
And poetry's a bore,
If every poem you have ever read
Has almost made you snore,
And if you're sure this book's the same
As all you've read before,
I dare ya, yes, I dare ya.
Turn the page!

Best-selling author Karma Wilson (of Bear Snores On fame) turns her wit and style to the art of poetry in her What's the Weather Inside? (McElderry/Simon & Schuster, 2009) which establishes her forthwith as a purveyor of poetry for children right up there with Jack Prelutsky.

Here's Wilson as she captures the essence of the mutt in "What My Dog Might Be Thinking."

I love to pee in the flower bed.
I love to eat things smelly and dead.
I love the smell of putridness.
I love to frolic in rotteness.
I love to bury my bones in a hole.
I love to drink from the toilet bowl.
I love to munch what the garbageman misses.
I love to give my people kisses!

Think you might rather have a cat after that? Here's "What Your Cat Might be Thinking:"

I'm the center of the universe.
I'm all out royalty.
There really isn't anyone
Who's near as good as me.
And if you plant a pretty plant,
Well, that's for me to chew.
And if you bring a puppy home,
Well, that's the end of you!

Wilson also takes on the subject of celebrity hype in "The Jesse James Song."

Jesse James, Jesse James,
Let's all write a song about Jesse James.
Now there was a man of renown and acclaim,
That all-time hero Jesse James.

Jesse James, Jesse, James,
He had glory and he had fame.
What did he do, that Jesse James,
That set the whole wide world aflame?

Jesse James, Jesse James,
What great thing did Jesse do?
Cheated, robbed, and killed folks too?
He did that stuff? Is that all true?

Jesse James, Jesse James,
Let's NOT write a song about Jesse James.
Let's sing out loud and sing out strong,
For someone else who DESERVES a song!

Wilson knows how to use rhyme and irony to tickle the funnybones of kids who enjoy the humorous poetry of Shel Silverstein, Jeff Foxworthy, and Alan Katz. Ably abetted by famed New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt, together these two have what it takes to get reluctant readers over the poetry barrier and into some real fun reading.



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