Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clever Poems to Last You until School Is Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clever Poems to Last You until School Is Out

Article excerpt


Students carrying bulging backpacks and crumpled notebooks gather at bus stops. The academic year is officially in full swing, and that means anticipation of summer 2010 is at an all-time high, too. To poke gentle fun at this inevitable cycle, pick up a copy of "Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year." Showing shades of Shel Silverstein and eliciting comparisons to Jack Prelutsky, the collection creates a chance to giggle - or groan, with recognition.

In a billion years from now -

Or maybe more - but anyhow,

The earth may shrivel up and die.

The universe? Pi in the sky.

The future, spinning, may have spun.

And I might have my homework done.

The book begins with this witty offering, which is marked No. 180. The pages go backward from there, culminating with "School's Out" on Page 1.

School is out, and I'm so sad.

(That is what I told my dad.)

I'll miss Mrs. Rosebaum

(That is what I told my mom.)

Tests are over - what a bummer.

This'll be a boring summer.

School is out and I feel lost.

(It's hard keeping your fingers crossed.)

Covering topics that range from public libraries to polar bears, author J. Patrick Lewis creates a wry, but never totally sour, look at day-to-day activities. Written from the point of view of the custodian, the students and various other lookers-on, the clever rhymes show exactly how fun word play can be. Teachers will want to use this title to introduce poetry, and parents will find it handy to lighten the mood when a Homeword Horror epidemic sweeps the house. The bold, wacky style of illustrator Ethan Long perfectly complements the tone of the poems. Long, who lives in Tallahassee, also writes books for children. His titles include "Tickle the Duck," "Too Many Kisses," and "Duck's Not Afraid of the Dark. …

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