Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Wonder Book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (ages 4 - 9)

One of the joys of working with children's books is finding a book that brings me right back to the joy of being a child. I adore poetry that makes me smile from ear to ear. I grew up loving Shel Silverstein, and I can still recall the dangers of picking your nose if you're Captain Hook. And I adore, absolutely adore Amy Krouse Rosenthal's newest book, The Wonder Book. It is full of pure, radiant, youthful joy - with a healthy dash of silliness thrown in for good measure.
The Wonder Book
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
drawings by Paul Schmid
NY: Harper, 2010
ages 4 - 9
available on Amazon and at your local library
The Wonder Book is a collection of poems, puns and wonderings. Some are silly, like "Clarification - What you can't run with" (a lollipop in your mouth, a truck full of scissors, twin porcupines). Others are clever, including a great collection of palindromes (words or phrases that read the same forward and backward). Others are just things we wonder about, like:
  • Who hid something under the Tooth Fairy's pillow when she was a little girl?
  • Did Miss Mary Mack Mack have friends who liked other colors?
  • How do Moms always know when you're about to sneak a cookie?
My 3rd grader and I loved reading this from front all the way through to the back, but with my kindergartner we popped around reading a few poems here and there. It reminds me very much of Shel Silverstein, from the line drawings that emphasize the humor of the poems, to the word play and puns that kids (and their parents!) love. Here are a few of their favorites:
It Could Be Verse
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Eeny Meeny and Miney Moe
Caught a tiger with their tow
The tiger hollered; they wouldn't let go
No more Eeny Meeny or Miney Mo

Mary had a little lamp
Little lamp
Little lamp
Mary had a little lamp
Whose light was white and glowed

In the sea
Don't look under
While I pee

(c) Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a wonderfully creative author, who imbues her work with warmth and wit. Bruce Handy wrote in The New York Times, "Her books radiate fun the way tulips radiate spring: they are elegant and spirit-lifting." We loved last year's Duck! Rabbit! And one of my favorite little kid gifts is her collection of board books: Little Pea, Little Oink and Little Hoot. If you'd like inspiration for your own sense of creativity and community, you really should check out the project The Beckoning of Lovely - truly inspirational. For more on The Wonder Book, here's Amy talking about it:

You definitely should check out this review of The Wonder Book:
Bookie Wookie (a dad and 3 kids): "Dad: So the poem is funny by itself. And even the picture is funny by itself. But what happens when you put the two together?
Gracie: It explodes into little nuggets of laughing goodness.
Dad: So what did the illustrator bring to the book?
Gracie: Hilariousness.
Isaac: I don't think it would have been as good without the words, and I don't think it would have been as good without the pictures."

And Jules, at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, has a great interview with the illustrator Paul Schmid. I love how Paul says, "I have a deep regard for kids; I think they are more tuned in to their happiness than adults. They’re optimistic, inventive, resourceful, and determined. All qualities I wish I had more of." Head over to this interview to see more of the great artwork. I can't wait to see Paul's upcoming books.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher. If you make a purchase on Amazon using these links, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

1 comment:

  1. This book looks great... and hilarious too! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to check it out!