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|World Rat Day : poems about real holidays you've never heard of|
Author: Lewis, J. Patrick
Nobody should ever forget Ewe on Ohio Sheep Day, World Turtle Day, or International Cephalopod Awareness Day. So these fantastically zany poems have memorialized these and other unusual holidays forever.
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/13)
School Library Journal (02/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/13)
The Hornbook (00/03/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2013 K-Gr 3—Funny from start to finish, these superbly crafted poems and inventive illustrations celebrate the extraordinary, odd, and seldom heard of holidays that the elementary-school crowd will love. Raff's intelligent artwork adds to the lighthearted play with many surprises. On "Worm Day" (March 15th), a troupe of worm scouts sporting their uniform scarves listens attentively while the scout master points toward a map of key locations next to an anatomical diagram of their subject, the robin. In another poem, an oversize Mae West of a cat, wearing a crown, reclines regally on the couch while confetti litters the air and balls of yarn dangle from the ceiling like balloons-it's "Happy Mew Year"-and the dog of the house looks on confused. Lewis writes, "On Mew Year's Day, /Let my cat be/The Queen of Purriosity…." January 16th is "Dragon Appreciation Day," and the dragons are feasting. Some of the tips on their etiquette menu include, "Never blow on your soup. That only makes it hotter" and "Play with your food, but don't let it run around screaming." For "National Skunk Day," the illustration shows a skunk posing for a photo beside a bottle of spray perfume while the photographers and lighting crew-all rats-struggle to repress their olfactory impulses. The entire book is such fun that children will will want to shout, "It's J. Patrick Lewis Day!"—Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2013 Twenty-six poems celebrate twenty-two weird holidays (Limerick Day is represented with a collection of five poems), most featuring animals, in brief and whimsical verses. Topics include Dragon Appreciation Day (“Eight Table Manners for Dragons”), Worm Day (“What the Worm Knows”), and International Cephalopod Awareness Day (“What Are the Cephalop-Odds?”), among others, with each holiday’s date displayed along with its name. The best entries are witty as well as silly, using form to emphasize their joke: “Bats” offers clever imagery (“Black sacks in the morning/ Airmailed at night”), “A Flamingo” is a streamlined concrete poem, “Said the Frog” provides a deliciously goofy pile of rhyme (“I was really in a muddle/ looking over a mud puddle/ ’cause I didn’t have a paddle”). Some poems are less successful, though, with scansion problems and strained wordplay; there’s also no history or source given for the holidays, which require quite the generous interpretation of “real” (Happy Mew Year for Cats Day and Yell “Fudge” at the Cobras in North America Day are both novelty days created for calendar amusement). The illustrations, ink wash with drawings assembled digitally, have the translucency of watercolors and the crispness of computer art; the busy compositions are sometimes a little unfocused, but the absurd and playful touches make them appealing and suitable partners for the text. Unofficial as the holidays may be, they’ll provide plenty of curricular occasions and some goofy reading aloud, and kids may leap on the notion of creating and celebrating their own invented holidays. A table of contents (which includes both the holidays celebrated and the poem titles) is included. DS - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 04/15/2013 Lewis, the current Children’s Poet Laureate, offers up 22 short poems, all but 3 of which are original. Each commemorates a holiday that apparently truly exists, although you’ve likely never heard of it. (Some back matter would have been helpful.) From January’s Dragon Appreciation Day to Chocolate-Covered Anything Day in December, Lewis offers musings such as Never blow on your soup. That only makes it hotter and instructions for eating chocolate-covered ants. Those who annually circle Cow Appreciation Day or Ohio Sheep Day on their calendars will welcome this literary recognition, but even those who don’t keep Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day holy will enjoy the poems as witty nonsense. Highly amusing anthropomorphized creatures rendered in ink lines and washes celebrate on white single- or double-page spreads, and sometimes there are pretty practical curriculum connections, such as Limerick Day (May 12) and International Cephalopod Awareness Day (October 8). Happy reading and a happy Yell ‘Fudge!’ at the Cobras in North America Day to all! - Copyright 2013 Booklist.