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A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shoutby Paul Janeczko
Synopses & Reviews
Whether rhyming, tongue-tying, or defying structure, here are more than three dozen poems that simply beg to be read aloud. The creators of A POKE IN THE I and A KICK IN THE HEAD complete a triplet with this collection of lively rhymes and tricky tongue twisters, poems for more than one voice, bilingual poems — and poems that may just inspire kids to memorize them. Paul B. Janeczko offers a range of gems, from classic Shakespeare and Lear to anonymous rhymes to contemporary riffs on everything under the sun, while Chris Raschka counterpoints with the vibrant accents of his wittily detailed artwork.
"As the in-your-face title implies, the poems in Janeczko and Raschka's collection (following their A Kick in the Head) are not complacent, although plenty are funny and some are familiar, like the irresistible 'Jabberwocky' and the singsong chanting of Macbeth's witches. Punchy collages flutter across airy white pages in loose visual arrangements; torn scraps of origami paper layer with fluid lines in tart color. Janeczko introduces the collection with the idea that 'Poetry is sound,' a pleasure to vocalize and memorize. 'If you've never read a poem to somebody, you don't know what you're missing,' he promises, and ebullient choices like Avis Hartley's 'Come, drum! Sound out the day!' reinforce his exhortation. All the pieces have an edge, from Janet S. Wong's uncomfortable 'Speak Up' — whose 'American' speaker wants an Asian American to 'say something Korean' — to Charles Follen Adams's 'An Orthographic Lament,' reflecting that unusual spellings are enough to make a person 'commit Sioux-eye-sighed.' Two poems from bilingual authors appear side-by-side in English/Spanish comparisons. By the time the volume closes with Whitman's 'I Hear America Singing,' readers will be emboldened to join in the 'song.' Ages 8 — 12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Paul B. Janeczko is a poet and teacher who has edited more than twenty award-winning poetry anthologies for young people. He lives in Hebron, Maine.
Chris Raschka is a Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of more than twenty books for children, including I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE, A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, and THE GRASSHOPPER'S SONG. He lives in New York City.
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