Friday, April 16, 2010

The Trouble with Parents! Too Much Kissing and Other Silly Dilly Songs about Parents by Alan Katz

(to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean")

My mother just rushes through
With stories, she sure cuts them short.

If she keeps this up you can bet
I'm taking her to fairy tale court.

Mother, Mother, I know that down deep you do care, do care.
But, oh, brother, Goldilocks met more than one bear!

Alan Katz and David Catrow, those madcap muses of ludicrous lyricism, have combined their writing and artistic talents in a new title in their popular Silly Dilly Songs series, this time taking on the prickly problems of parental behavior. It seems that parental units are always doing things to mortify or just plain annoy their offspring--kissing, talking endlessly on their cells, and, er, "editing" classic tales to fit their own tv-watching schedules--and worst of all, eating disgusting dishes at dinner:

(to the tune of "My Favorite Things")

Entrees so yucky and
Side dishes squishy.
Mealtimes that for days make
The house smell all fishy.
Can't bear to see what tonight's dinner brings.
Mom and Dad only eat disgusting things.

With this entry in this killer-diller series, Too Much Kissing!: And Other Silly Dilly Songs About Parents (Simon & Schuster, 2009), the off-beat but irresistible rhymes of Katz and the goofy caricatures created by Catrow offer the best antidote for those kids who groan "I hate poems" whenever Poetry Month rolls around. These "silly-dilly songs" are the spoonful of sugar that make the introduction to poetry units slip down sweetly. There's no philosophy and lovely lyricism here, but there is insightful imagery and plenty of the major mechanics of the craft--rhyme scheme, meter, verse structure, and wordplay--to make this one a delightful dip into the great world of English poesy, not to mention a time for classroom and family car trip sing-alongs.

Other mega-popular books in this series include their inaugural issue, Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Are You Quite Polite?: Silly Dilly Manners Songs, Going, Going, Gone!: And Other Silly Dilly Sports Songs and the world's best anthology of potty parodies, On Top of the Potty: And Other Get-Up-and-Go Songs (see my review here.)

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