skip to Main Content

Killer Poems

Take a midnight stroll through Amen Creature Corners and glimpse what’s carved on the animals’ headstones.

Ronna Mandel wants to get your youngsters hyped up for Halloween with her  review of Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs ($16.95, Charlesbridge, ages 7-10) by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen with ilustrations by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins. 

I know what you’re thinking. Bizarre, morbid. Maybe. But I love this kind of offbeat picture book that is often ever so subtly humorous and other times outright in your face. Either way, the variety of the verses are clever and catchy and the gray-toned artwork is moody and evocative with the occasional smidgen of scarlet. Look closely, too, or you might miss some very funny touches Timmins has tossed in to keep you on your toes as you walk amongst the tombstones. Whether the creatures have been crushed, fallen ill or been struck while crossing the street (see page 6 Chicken Crosses Over), the myriad methods of demise are as hysterical as the epitaphs!

I have a feeling this kind of original and whacky poetry book might just tickle a few funny bones and get more than a few kids eager to try their hand at a few epitaphs this fall. With a chill in the autumn air, it’s really the right time of year to nurture all those budding Edgar Allan Poes. 

Here’s a brief sample of a few of my faves:

Good-bye to a Rowdy Rooster

Too cocky by far,
he head-butted a car. 

Flickering Moth

Here lies a moth
without a name,
who lived by the fire
and died by the flame. 

Share this:

Poems for April

frontcoverApril happens to be National Poetry Month and there are so many terrific poetry books available. However, not all kids love poetry. Maybe they’ve just been exposed to the wrong poems. Whether you seek humorous poems or those more serious, this selection offers something for everyone. A great starting point is A to Z Poetry For Kids written by SoCal college grad Kellan G. Peterson available at This helpful book introduces 26 different types of poems including many I had no idea existed!

9780446563826_154x233Recent poetry books of note are: 100 Great Poems for Girls edited by Celia Johnson, 100 Great Poems for Boys edited by Leslie Pockell, Poem in Your Pocket For Young Poets: 100 Poems to Rip Out & Read selected by Bruno Navasky, Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else in Your Amazing Future edited by Elise Paschen, and The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination edited by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston.

9780810991422_s3For the younger set there’s Everybody Was A Baby Once and Other Poems by Alan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, Truckery Rhymes (Part of Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown), Arnold Lobel’s Odd Owls & Stout Pigs: A Book of Nonsense with color by Adrianne Lobel, Maybe I’ll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems by Debbie Levy with illustrations by Stephanie Buscema,
Countdown to Summer: a Poem for Every Day of the School Year, by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Ethan Long, and Tighty Whitey Spider by Kenn Nesbitt.

Share this:
Back To Top