The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and Others

Word Galaxy. Apr. 2023. 118p. Tr $29.95. ISBN 9781773491349; pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781773491301.
Gr 1-5–In this volume of mostly rhyming poetry, Schechter celebrates the power of a unique perspective through playful poems that delight in turning things topsy-turvy. While the plethora of poems dazzle in their variety, several themes recur. There are poems about an “I” who dreams about everything from how time will feel at different ages, to having an adjustable nose, to what it would be like to see through someone else’s eyes. There are poems that twist up language like a Rubik’s cube, to see what kinds of Ogden Nash-esque absurdities emerge. And there are sensory poems about the world around us and our bodies, exploring everything from how relative the idea of “big” is to how special the five senses are. For child readers, these poems may spark big reflections on how amazingly quirky the world is and how elastic language can be. Sprinkled throughout, Federico’s monochromatic pen-and-ink illustrations are bold and full of movement. They tend to match the subject matter of the poems exactly, often marrying the straightforward with the gleefully surreal. Schechter’s language and rhyme schemes range from simple to tongue-twistingly complex. Children and adults alike will enjoy bouncing through the vivacious rhythms and the breadth of surprising, marvelous ideas. These are for reading out loud, to laugh at, to muse on, and to grow up with.
VERDICT A robust addition to general poetry collections, sure to appeal to a wide range of poetry lovers.

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