November 20, 2017

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I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris | SLJ Review

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redstarHARRIS, Chris. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups. illus. by Lane Smith. 192p. index. Little, Brown. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780316266574.

Gr 3-8 –Those who claim to hate poetry will enjoy this riotous compilation just as much as those who love the form. Fans of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky will rejoice in finding another member of their gang. Wordplay abounds: “If ever I find myself holding a gecko…/I’ll lecko.” Typography is the source of gags, as when the letters “d” and “b” face off for a duel, turn to shoot each other, and fall over dead, having become the letters “p” and “q.” And the title poem will have kids howling with laughter as the narrator repeatedly misses the most obvious rhymes: “I’m just no good at rhyming./It makes me feel so bad./I’m just no good at rhyming,/And that’s why I am blue.” Smith matches Harris’s wit with his own zaniness, merging line drawings with printing techniques that add a variety of texture and mood. The interplay between text and illustration provides further delights. VERDICT A surefire winner for reading aloud or for snickering with under the covers. Every library will want to add this to its poetry collection.–Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

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