I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

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Annotation: An illustrated collection of comically irreverent rhyming poems for readers of all ages, ranging in topic from avocados and anacondas to zombies and zebras (dressed like ghosts).
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #148930
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Smith, Lane,
Pages: 221 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-26657-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99253-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-26657-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99253-5
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2016005404
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Harris's impressive debut--containing over one hundred poems, riddles, visual jokes, and nonsense--offers surprising detours and a dazzling variety of forms and subjects, which will keep readers engaged and on their toes. Smith's stylishly silly mixed-media illustrations raise the irreverence to sublime levels. Occasional bickering between poet and illustrator adds another layer of absurdity. This collection rewards repeat visits.
Publishers Weekly
This debut collection of verse from TV writer/producer Harris hits a poetry trifecta: high energy, rhymes that can rival Cole Porter-s (-Nothing is impossible.... Every tooth is flossable-), and a torrent of ideas. Some poems turn on simple wordplay (-The Ice Cream Mondae-); others are surprisingly introspective (-I-m shy on the outside, but inside my head?/ I-m not at all shy-I-m outgoing instead-) or appear sappy on the surface, only to catch readers off guard with an ironic swerve. Parodies of nursery rhymes, meta-poetry that builds on earlier poems à la nesting dolls (-Read me the poem that-s titled -The Poem That-s Titled -The Poem That-s Titled -The Door-------), and comments stuck to the pages provide more surprises. Smith-s homage to the 1950s aesthetic of artists such as Cliff Roberts is updated with diverse characters and loaded with over-the-top raucousness, and he includes some visual jokes all his own. The whole production is a worthy heir to Silverstein, Seuss, and even Ogden Nash: -If I ever find myself holding a gecko.../ I-ll lecko.- Ages 6-up. Author-s agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. Illustrator-s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 38Those who claim to hate poetry will enjoy this riotous compilation just as much as those who love the form. Fans of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky will rejoice in finding another member of their gang. Wordplay abounds: "If ever I find myself holding a gecko/I'll lecko." Typography is the source of gags, as when the letters "d" and "b" face off for a duel, turn to shoot each other, and fall over dead, having become the letters "p" and "q." And the title poem will have kids howling with laughter as the narrator repeatedly misses the most obvious rhymes: "I'm just no good at rhyming./It makes me feel so bad./I'm just no good at rhyming,/And that's why I am blue." Smith matches Harris's wit with his own zaniness, merging line drawings with printing techniques that add a variety of texture and mood. The interplay between text and illustration provides further delights. VERDICT A surefire winner for reading aloud or for snickering with under the covers. Every library will want to add this to its poetry collection.Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A frolicking romp through the zany world of nonsense verse.In the storied tradition of Nash, Lear, and Dr. Seuss, Harris joins forces with Smith to present over 100 original poems and illustrations dedicated to having some serious fun. Visual, aural, and downright guffaw-inspiring puns and riddles abound in this wildly imaginative and cleverly illustrated debut collection. Harris and Smith unite to preach the gospel of irreverence, daring children to explore and test parental—and poetic—limits in a variety of circumstances, whether through typography, illustration, or verse. In "Toasted Knight for Lunch Again?" Smith's vividly textured multimedia double-page spread features Mama Dragon and Baby in conversation, as Baby points to lifeless Sir Gustav laid out on a plate, the feathery plume in his helmet serving as garnish, and whines, "No armor, Mom— / I want him / With the crust off!" In " 'Tis Better," Harris cheekily weighs in on the virtues of giving versus receiving, stating: "If that thing's a black eye… / Then yeah, I believe it!" Harris and Smith even extend their banter to each other, Harris going so far as to bluntly state, "I Don't Like My Illustrator," and then Smith exacting revenge with a portrait of a snaggle-toothed, hairy-eared Harris with snot dripping from his nose. The inspired and inspiring sense of play knows no bounds. (Poetry. 5-12)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* "Children are gooder and grown-ups are badder / At just about all things that matter," Harris declares in "Grown-Ups Are Better (I)," the first in a series of three poems of the same title. In this magnificently wacky romp through verse (rhymed and unrhymed, whispered and shouted, upside down and sometimes invisible), television producer Harris and two-time Caldecott honoree Smith prove just that, evoking childlike wonder with paeans to dragons, trick riddles, and raucous lullabies, helped along by Smith's inimitable dappled digital-media and watercolor designs. There are moments of sheer hilarity. "Eight" recounts the fate of a boy whose parents "forgot to teach him" the cardinal number oversight that disrupts the entire book's pagination. In "I Don't Like My Illustrator," Harris ridicules Smith, only to be gravely rebuked on the facing page. Classics aren't safe either. "Two Roads" concludes with a condemnation of Frost ("Thanks for nothing!"), and "Jack Sprat (Updated)" ends not with a clean platter, but death. But it isn't all unipedes (a one-legged centipede, of course) and ginormous hippos; the revelry is tempered by earnest wisdom, too, including insights for the introverted, the downtrodden, and the hopelessly mischievous. In the closing poem, Harris beckons, "Let's meet right here in twenty-five years." While this moving, madcap anthem to language is sure to stand the test of time, readers will be revisiting it far sooner than that.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal Starred Review
Horn Book (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
School Library Journal (Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: 630L

The instant New York Times bestseller featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon! B. J. Novak (bestselling author of The Book With No Pictures) described this groundbreaking poetry collection as "Smart and sweet, wild and wicked, brilliantly funny--it's everything a book for kids should be."

Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Already lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, Harris's hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries such as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner: from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when "poetic license" gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It's a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It's a mischievous match made in heaven!

"Ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged--and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it! Immediately!" --Judith Viorst, bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


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