Synopses & Reviews
An 11-year-old boy named Robert voices typical--and not so typical--middle-grade concerns in this unique, memorable collection of hilarious poems.
"This graphically inventive sequence of concrete poems, printed in red and black on white, mimes an 11-year-old's sarcastic perspective. The protagonist, Robert, opens with a poem in black type that traces the diameter of a clock; six words in red ink, roundabout the number seven, indicate the start and conclusion ('I wake up in the morning...') of a school-to-homework-to-bed cycle. The narrator's wry attitude becomes more apparent in a footnoted letter that dutifully thanks an aunt for a hated gift. 'I'm already planning when to wear my new sweater,' Robert writes, and only readers catch his footnoted subtext ('the next time you come to visit. I just hope nobody sees me'). The interrelated statements evolve from ridiculous daydreams and everyday pastimes alike. In one spread, Robert imagines a typographical wrestling match between the words 'octopus' and 'boa constrictor'; in a skateboarding story, his angled and twisting words leap invisible curbs on the bare white page, while red letters shout, 'Hey kid!... Get outta here!' Knowing audience members will appreciate the scatological wit of poems like 'Bloodcurdling Screams,' where spiraling bright-red text ('...Ow Ow Ow Hoo Hoo...') suggests what happens when a brother flushes a toilet during his sister's shower. Grandits (Pictures Tell Stories) weaves Robert's portrait in distorted letterforms, language mazes and comic first-person narration. A technically (and imaginatively) inspired typeface experiment. Ages 9-13." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An exuberant celebration of wordplay that's certain to broaden kids' understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of poetry." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews
"combines technical brilliance and goofy good humor to provide an accessible, fun-filled collection of poems...brilliant book design" Starred, SLJ School Library Journal, Starred
"graphically inventive sequence of concrete poems...mimes an 11-year-old's sarcastic perspective...A technically (and imaginatively) inspired typeface experiement." PW Publishers Weekly
"humorous...kid-relevant or kid-voiced...well-pitched to a youthful readership...playful layouts...a quick, funny, and painlessly poetic read." BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Youth will fall for this kind of word play, as will adults...smart, clever, and just plain fun." VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
An eleven-year-old boy named Robert voices typicaland not so typicalmiddle-grade concerns in this unique, memorable collection of hilarious poems. His musings cover the usual stuff, like pizza, homework, thank-you notes, and his annoying older sister. In addition, he speculates about professional wrestling for animals, wonders why no one makes scratch-and-sniff fart stickers, designs the ultimate roller coaster (complete with poisonous spiders), and deconstructs the origins of a new word, snarpy. A playful layout and ingenious graphics extend the wry humor that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages.
About the Author
John Grandits is an award-winning book and magazine designer and the author of "Beatrice Black Bear," a monthly cartoon for Click magazine. He lives in Red Bank, N.J., with his wife, Joanne, a children's librarian, and Gilbert, an evil cat. His first book of concrete poetry, Technically, It's Not My Fault, followed the adventures of a boy named Robert, who was often in conflict with his older sister, Jessie. Blue Lipstick gives Jessie a chance to tell her side of the story.