Friday, June 26, 2015

Poetry Friday with a review of Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems about just about everything

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems about just about everything
Today I am going to introduce you to a poetry book that is full of poems that are "about just about everything." The beauty of a book of this kind is that it can be dipped into at random. No matter what kind of mood you are in you will find something on the pages that will work for you, a poem that will suit you perfectly at that particular moment.

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems about just about everything 
Calef Brown
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Henry Holt, 2015, 978-0-8050-9928-7
When it comes to books you can never quite be sure what kind of book mood you are going to be in on any particular day. Today might be a pirate adventure kind of day, but when tomorrow comes around you might be in the mood for a story about witches or wizards. Poems are the same way. Sometimes you are ready to take on a long, story poem full of rich language, and sometimes your brain is just too tired for such full-bodied material and you are eager to read something shorter and lighter.
   The solution to this book mood problem is a simple one: have lots of books of different kinds so that you can always find something that appeals no matter what mood you are in. Another approach is to have one book handy that is full of different kinds of stories.
   Calef Brown has taken the latter approach with this book. He has written poems about “just about everything” and they come in a variety of ‘flavors.’ Some of the poems rhyme and some do not. Some tells stories while others describe people, animals, or places. Most of the poems are humorous in some way, which gives the whole collection a warm and light-hearted feel. Having so many poems to choose from means that there will be always be something in this collection that readers will like, no matter what kind of day they are having.
   The poems are divided into topical sections, which can also be handy if you know exactly what you are looking for. If you wake up one morning wanting to read poems about animals, then the “Critterverse” section is the place to go. Perhaps you have a particular interest in cars and other vehicles at the moment, which will mean that you should immediately go to the “Poems of a particular vehicular nature.” Other topics include poems about people, poems about insects, schoolish poems, poems that are fact-packed, poems that have fun playing with words, foodie poems, and a few that are miscellaneously silly.
   Throughout the book the poems are accompanied by Calef Brown’s singular illustrations, which really do complement the poems to a T. Readers can dip in or browse, or they can read the book from cover to cover. 

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