Zilot & Other Important Rhymes

Little, Brown. Oct. 2023. 160p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780316438506.
Gr 1-5–In the same vein as the unrelentingly inventive poems of Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, Odenkirk’s poems beg to be read out loud. Most revolve around working out the absurdities of a goofy idea or of playing around with language. The language used is accessible for most elementary school kids, and the occasional explanatory footnote provides useful context. Enlivening illustrations add distinct charm. It’s a feat for such elastic poems to feel so unforced. To read one is to enjoy a well-constructed confection of a concept played through in an unfussy, delightful way. However, it’s worth noting that the repetition of the same types of rhyme schemes and meter also creates a bit of a tranquilizing effect when stretched over a full collection. The overall effect of reading many at once can be that they all sort of mush into one big comforting and pleasant poetry casserole. This is by no means a reason to pass on this book: as a volume to flip through, any poem readers land on will be tremendous fun to savor. Need a poem for story time? Crack this volume open and take your pick.
VERDICT Highly recommended for those looking to freshen up their collections of silly poetry.

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