by Mary Ann Hoberman (Author) James Perry Hoberman (Illustrator)
A deliciously clever and entertaining collection of poems that celebrate word play by former Children's Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Mary Ann Hoberman.
Words are remarkable / Here is a book / Where you'll not only listen / You also will look / Where you'll not only look / But you also will think / About words and their meanings / And how in the blink / Of an eye or a letter / Their meanings can change / Words are remarkable / Language is strange! In this poetry collection, the masterful Mary Ann Hoberman celebrates the joy of wordplay with poems about the alphabet, assonance, alliteration, grammar and punctuation, similes, rhythm and rhyme, and so much more!
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This unique metrical composition highlights the alphabet through various poems all the way from A to Z, pushing the book beyond the confines of the usual audience. Each poem is accompanied by an appropriate illustration in full color to help readers understand the theme or message. For example, "tree trimming" features a picture of a boy with hedge trimmers happily looking at a tree that has been snipped down to "just a stump" after his mother asked him to trim (decorate) the tree. The pride shown on his face is comical in that he took her direction in the literal sense and almost nothing of the tree remains. The author clearly had fun writing each poem and the illustrator festoons the pages with diverse characters of every stripe. Some of the poems poke fun at common word mistakes such as not using a comma properly and how italics work in conversational text. This collection would be useful in both an intermediate classroom while teaching a poetry unit and an elementary library for pleasure reading. VERDICT This is the perfect book for children just learning their way around the quirkier elements of the English language such as puns, rhymes, alliteration, homophones, and so much more.
Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
In 50-plus short rhyming poems, former children’s poet laureate Mary Ann Hoberman and debut illustrator James Perry Hoberman take readers on a playful journey through English linguistics. The verses celebrate words mono- and multisyllabic, homographs and homonyms, and how to use lay vs. lie, among other topics; the appropriately titled "U/AU/O/UH/OO/AW" marvels at varying pronunciations for ou sounds. Digitally finished pen and pencil spot art with a hand-markered vibe features illustrated alphabets, arrayed creatures, and people of varying skin tones; the standout is a double-page, starry night homage to the word vast ("A tiny word/ That encompasses/ The universe"). Even readers who grouse at the thought of a language arts assignment may appreciate the enthusiastic lines: "The origins/ Of language sing,/ Alive, ambiguous, absurd-/ In the beginning was the word." Ages 6-up.
Copyright 2022 Publisher’s Weekly, LLC Used with permission.