A Whale of a Time: A Funny Poem for Each Day of the Year

Nosy Crow. Sept. 2023. 336p. ed. by Peacock, Lou, sel. Tr $40. ISBN 9798887770253.
PreS-Gr 5–A balanced collection of poetry punctuated with vibrant mixed media art, this oversized selection reflects seasonal changes, as each section is collected by month for daily readings. Layouts showcase diverse, bold illustrations created by paint, pens, crayons, and digital. Hunt’s artistic interpretation of poetry, paired with Peacock’s selections per spread, offer an imaginative and brilliant twist to the limericks, haiku, free verse, odes, and other rhymes. A deliciously disgusting image of a cheerful lad slurping worms while surrounded by birds on wet grass takes center stage between “The Worm” on April 3rd and “Nobody Loves Me, Everybody Hates Me” on April 4th. Children will grin, wondering if this is the boy who pretended to eat the worm, or who actually does eat them! The poems surround the space, with alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm bouncing beautifully off the tongue. Jack Prelutsky, Valerie Bloom, John Agard, Spike Milligan, Ogden Nash, Edward Lear, Joshua Seigal, and Nikki Giovanni appear multiple times, among other authors, and while many of the poems are humorous, several are more introspective. Minor graphic design issues to fit some poems are distracting but rare. A few of the poems are quite advanced (Maya Angelou’s “On Aging” and Jenny Joseph’s “Warning”) and would be best for older readers, while others are solidly for preschoolers. Back matter includes indices of authors, poems, and first lines.
VERDICT A poetic gem for oversized collections that circulate well. Purchase this title to share daily poems at the reference desk or other display areas.

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