There's No Place like School

Classroom Poems
32p. 978-0-06082-338-2.
K-Gr 3—This collection of 18 short and funny poems by 13 different writers covers topics like riding the bus ("Sixteen boys—/fourteen girls—/Thirty pairs of sleepy eyes") to the struggles of learning cursive ("Who decides?/Who gets to choose?/Who dreams up these curlicues?"), all dear to the hearts of their intended audience. Prelutsky's "Grasshopper Gumbo" lists the offerings in the school cafeteria: "Grasshopper Gumbo/Iguana Tail Tarts/Toad À La Mode/Pickled Pelican Parts...." Manning's watercolors add colorful splashes of humor; her round-faced children are comical and cute. While this book has a lot in its favor, it's unfortunately an addition to an already crowded field of light verse about school. Libraries that have Carol Diggory Shields's Lunch Money (Dutton, 1995) or Prelutsky's What a Day It Was at School! (HarperCollins, 2006) might want to consider this title as a fun but nonessential purchase.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Prelutsky selects pieces by well-known poets about the usual school subjects: cafeteria food, gym class, homework, etc. Though the ground is well trodden, each of these light verses works, with lots of humor and the occasional deviation from the everyday (a purple-painted frog, for instance). Watercolors with broad-faced, rosy-cheeked students add to the light atmosphere.

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