Monday, May 11, 2009

My Hippo Has the Hiccups

Kenn Nesbitt; Illustrations by Ethan Long

That fact that this book comes packaged with a CD means it comes pre-packaged with instant appeal. Never has a poetry book been so wildly popular at our house. We have listened to this well over a dozen times, and there is no sign of waning interest. Author Ken Nesbitt makes his incredibly funny poems that much more enjoyable by personally reciting them in funny voices. is the most visited children's poetry website in the world for good reason. Ken Nesbitt is the master of hilarious poetry that children and adults alike will fall in love with. I think the key to the success of this poetry is how intentionally appealing he makes it to children. No, it's not flowery or mystical. It's good old fashioned kid style humor about burping, stinky sisters, annoying parents and making stuff up. Even better, he writes poems on ridiculous subjects with titles like Meat Loaf, I Taught My Cat to Clean My Room, I Bought a Pet Banana and My Elephant Thinks I'm Wonderful.

The book of poems is wonderfully entertaining to read, but they truly come to life when Kenn lends his voice. Listeners will enjoy thirty-nine poems on the CD that accompanies the book., which is ideal for children who are not yet able to read. But Ken doesn't just read the poems - he talks directly to his audience, cracking jokes and explaining how the poems came about. He also offers advice on how anyone can take the steps to become a poet.

This is a great book of poetry that will have kids giggling and hopefully finding out that poetry can be a lot of fun. The goal is to show children that writing poetry isn't as daunting of a task as they might think. Kenn shows us that poetry can be about absolutely anything and encourages everyone to give it a try.

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