Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems
Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems
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Annotation: This collection of ironic apology poems was inspired by William Carlos William's famous poem, "This Is Just to Say," and imagines how tricksters really feel about the mischief they make.
Genre: Poetry
Catalog Number: #57664
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2012
Illustrator: Cordell, Matthew,
Pages: 79 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-178725-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-52808-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-178725-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-52808-6
Dewey: 811
LCCN: 2009023978
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Levine unapologetically riffs on William Carlos Williams's poem "This Is Just to Say" in this collection of light verse that shows readers there's a lot more to be un-sorry about besides purloined chilled plums. Accompanied by an appropriately scruffy, subversive cartoon, each poem mimics Williams's structure. Levine's spirited encouragement of readers to write their own false apology poems will likely be heeded.
Kirkus Reviews
A playful primer on insincerity for budding poets. Taking as a springboard William Carlos Williams' famous pseudo-apology, "I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox […] Forgive me …," Newbery Honor–winner Levine and illustrator Cordell unleash their darker sides in offering children several imaginative occasions for issuing false apologies. One glance at the volume's contents listing poems all taking Williams' title "This Is Just to Say," and readers instantly clue into Levine's glib project, which she then explains and invites others to imitate some 20 pages into the volume--much, she admits, to her editor's chagrin. While many a poet has spoofed Williams in similar fashion and chosen this found poem's simple form to introduce children to imagistic self-expression (Kenneth Koch most memorably), what distinguishes Levine's project is her clever use of the form to debunk famous children's icons like Snow White, Humpty Dumpty and the Little Engine that Could to literalize common expressions familiar to young readers. Cordell's signature spare line drawings prove particularly effective in conveying the latter, as in "While you were buying / doll dresses / I sanded off / your Barbie's face […] Forgive me / her beauty / was only / skin deep," while a girl comes screaming across the page spread as a delighted boy kneels intently over the scribbled-out, faceless doll. Macabre, sometimes downright mean, this mischievous collection is sure to engage the devilish side of readers of all ages. (Illustrated poems. 6 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;8&12; Lamar, 13, wants nothing more than an idyllic summer hanging out at Striker's Bowling Paradise, girl watching, and eating. The trouble is, his reputation as a prankster has left him without a girlfriend, and problems at home have made him feel empty and confused. His brother's basketball skills have earned him the nickname "Xavier the Basketball Savior." Lamar feels that since his mother's death, his father has pinned all of his hopes and dreams on Xavier. Things intensify when Lamar sees a poster advertising a contest sponsored by pro bowler Bubba Sanders to win a "Pro Thunder" bowling ball. Billy Jenks, the school troublemaker, convinces Lamar that by hustling bowling games he can earn the money to buy his own ball and impress Bubba. Listeners will be eager to find out if Lamar's conscience kicks in before he gets into big trouble. Crystal Allen's debut novel (Balzer + Bray, 2011) is a fresh and clever story involving the themes of peer pressure and family problems. Allen has an uncanny ability to see into the hearts of teenage boys, while narrator Muhammed Cunningham speaks from their souls. He has impressive range as he handles Lamar's trash-talking, Midwestern corny humor and teen angst with equal aplomb. Fans of Jeff Kinney's The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will love this brilliant and sometimes humorous snapshot of life in many inner city communities and the pressures facing teens living there.&12; Lisa Hubler, Charles F. Brush High School, Lyndhurst, OH
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Mean-spirited mischief and gruesome scenarios are part of the fun in these fractured-fairy-tale poems, which include wry takes on the Brothers Grimm, Mother Goose nonsense, and popular folklore. Written in the form of false apologies inspired by William Carlos Williams' poem "This Is Just to Say," the accessible free verse, along with wild line cartoons, shows the ugly standoffs and power plays between familiar characters. Snow White leaves willingly with the witch rather than staying with the dwarfs, who snore, pick their noses, and never bathe. Rapunzel lops off her braid, telling her would-be suitor, "You're not worth / the pain / in my scalp." The Beast burps after gobbling down Beauty for breakfast, then asks her father for another daughter. The princess always knew about the pea, which "helped immeasurably / in faking / the true princess test." In an author's note, Levine includes Williams' poem and encourages readers to write their own false-apology verses, "in your own cruel ways." But, she warns, "You have to be mean and grouchy." Of course, the subversive, cranky tone is the appeal, as is the close look at popular sayings: ever thought about what it means to say "Blood is thicker than water"? Readers will enjoy sharing the surprising selections, which will make them rethink what they thought they knew.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (3/1/12)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly (10/1/11)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (10/1/11)
Horn Book (8/1/12)
Kirkus Reviews (10/1/11)
School Library Journal (10/1/11)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.1 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q57069
Lexile: NP
Guided Reading Level: U

This Is Just to Say

If you’re looking for a nice happy book

put this one down and run away quickly

Forgive me sweetness and good cheer are boring

Inspired by William Carlos Williams’s famous poem ”This Is Just to Say,” Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine delivers a wickedly funny collection of her own false apology poems, imagining how tricksters really feel about the mischief they make. Matthew Cordell’s clever and playful line art lightheartedly captures the spirit of the poetry. This is the perfect book for anyone who’s ever apologized . . . and not really meant it.

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