Post by Mark T. Locker.
The iPads for kids at the library are stationed right next to the juvenile non-fiction. Which is to say, I find myself browsing the juvenile non-fiction quite a bit while waiting for my boy to finish up giving a werewolf a haircut, or cutting candy down for a monster, or helping birds with anger issues. I have a particular fondness for children’s poetry. Shel Silverstein is of course the most widely-known children’s poet, quite possibly in the entire universe. But there are a lot of people writing quite entertaining poems for kids. I grabbed a book off the shelf, thumbed quickly through it, and added it to the pile.
I didn’t think much about it since then but noticed that every time there was an eerie silence from my son’s room, I’d find him quietly reading the book of poems. The book is called My Hippo Has the Hiccups by Kenn Nesbitt. The poems are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein, silly poems with catchy rhyming cadences accompanied by little line drawings. They are funny, and often about animals. Apparently he was also named children’s Poet Laureate in 2013. So clearly I’m not the only one who has discovered him.
My teacher ate my homework,
which I thought was rather odd.
He sniffed at it and smiled
with an approving sort of
He took a little nibble
it’s unusual, but true-
then had a somewhat larger bite
and gave a thoughtful chew.
I think he must have liked it,
for he really went to town.
He gobbled it with gusto
and he wolfed the whole thing down.
He licked off all his fingers,
gave a burp and said, “You pass.”
I guess that’s how they grade you
when you’re in a cooking class.
We just returned My Hippo and picked up another volume, called Tighty Whitey Spider. When I explained what tighty whiteys are, naturally my son was intrigued. These are fun poems with a very low ick factor. Recommended for kids of any age.