Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Tighty Whitey Spider


Kenn Nesbitt; Illustrated by Ethan Long

We are big fans of Kenn Nesbitt and his side-splitting poetry.  He's funny, ingenious, original and best of all, makes up his own darn rules.  Do you find poetry boring, maybe a little stuffy?  Do you hesitate to introduce poetry to your children because you aren't sure if they will embrace it? You really should give this poetry a try.

 Kenn's poetry doesn't focus on flowers or rainbows or running breathlessly through the rain.  He doesn't wax on about his feelings, nor do you have to study his poems to figure out the deeper meaning.  This book is full of poems about animals like ferrets, weasels and purple porpoises doing wacky things.  Sometimes you can just tell by reading the title that it's going to be good. For instance, you can't go wrong with Toby the Snowboarding Doberman.  It's inconceivable.

There's a paragraph on the rear cover (that's what we're calling it, right?) that explains how Kenn came up with his material. I can offer it to you to give you a real sense of what his humor is like, and not feel guilty about posting some poems that you should really buy the book to read. We are rule-followers here, after all.

"As a child, Kenn Nesbitt got lost during a field trip to the zoo and was raised by animals who taught him their secret ways.  He used that knowledge to create this book, every word of which is true. Really. Okay, not really. He just wanted to see if you would read the back cover." If that doesn't convince you of Kenn's hilarity, then take a peek at Kenn's site to read three poems, reprinted with his permission: My Kitten Won't Stop Talking, My Kiwi is the Captain, and I Have to Write a Poem

There are really only so many ways I can say that I think this guy is the key to get your kids interested in poetry. It worked at our house and it can work at yours. Oh! I totally forgot to mention that the book is peppered with illustrations from Ethan Long. Yeah, Ethan Long from Tickle the Duck - that Ethan Long. This book has it all: good writing, good pictures, talking kittens and flying pigs.    

Review copy provided by Sourcebooks. 

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