Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poetry Friday - A review of If you were a chocolate mustache

One of the things that I love about poetry is the fact that it comes in so many 'flavors.' When I was little, I had no idea that poetry had so many forms. I had never seen a haiku or a concrete poem. I am delighted that children today can enjoy all kinds of poetry early on. They can see and hear that one can be delightfully creative when one writes a poem.

Today's poetry title shows to great effect how one poet plays with words to create poems that are incredibly varied.

If You Were a Chocolate Mustache
If you were a chocolate mustache
J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
For ages 7 to 10
Boyds Mills Press, 2012, 978-1-59078-927-8
Poems come in many forms, more forms perhaps than most of us are aware of. J. Patrick Lewis, the Children’s Poet Laureate, loves to play with these forms, and this is what he has done in this collection. In this book readers will find riddles, limericks, haiku, story poems, concrete poems and more. The only thing that the poems have in common is that they are all serve to amuse the reader, to make the reader smile or even laugh.
   On the pages of this title you will find a poem that describes dragon dinner etiquette. If you are a dragon, never accept a dinner invitation “If St. George is the guest of honor.” If you are going to eat Chinese food use “chop stakes,” and nights when you have pizza delivered “Spare the delivery boy.”
   In another part of the book you will encounter another dragonish poem. In “Dragon vs. Girl” we meet a dragon who is complaining about a girl who sprayed him with water using a squirt gun. The dragon’s mother points out that the dragon has got “a flame to throw,” which should make short work of the girl and her squirt gun. Unfortunately, the mother dragon fails to take one very important fact into consideration; that water puts out fire.
   Some of the poems are riddles that are both amusing and challenging to solve. There are the Haikus that are “City/State Riddles.” If you know your US geography you should be able to solve these riddles, some of which are quite tricky. In addition there are three book riddles. If you know your fairy tales you should have no problem figuring them out. For all of the riddles, readers will find that the answers written in small looking glass type next to the poems. All you need to read the solutions is a mirror.
   This is a splendid collection that young readers are going to enjoy dipping into. It is likely that they will discover some poetry forms that they have never seen before.

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