The bestselling author of You Might Be a Redneck If... and the host of the TV show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?turns his hand to versifying with this innocuous collection of rhyming poems about ordinary childhood experiences: "I like to play and splash and sing/ When I take my bath/ But it's the bubbles that I make myself/ That always make me laugh!" The humor stays mild-mannered and stresses the bonds of friendship and family, as in "Friends," which begins, "Friends come in all colors/ And sizes and shapes/ Friends share their jump ropes/ And friends share their grapes." Björkman (Aliens for Breakfast) punches up the text with plentiful illustrations in a cheery cartoon style. "Friends," for example, pairs with a picture of a grinning cat and dog, dressed up like pirates and together carrying a small treasure chest. A poem about sitting in a grandfather's lap gains interest when Björkman envisions it taking place in a small fishing boat, grandpa and grandson napping, a huge fish just about to bite on their line. As a bonus, a note at the front challenges readers to find the 30 creatures depicted in the book's most lavishly illustrated poem, aptly titled "What Do You See?" Ages 4-7. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy writes poems about his Aunt Foo Foo, his cousins, his grandparents, and his friends, as well as other familiar childhood things, including dirt, deer, noises, fishing, and bubbles. Some of the poems take up a page and sometimes several fit on a page. Unfortunately, the poems fall a bit flat especially because they are paired with Bjorkman's whimsical illustrations. Steve Bjorkman's work has appeared on greeting cards for Recycled Paper Greetings, and they add much humor to many of the poems. The best illustration appears for the poem, "What Do You See?" Here, lots of creatures are hiding. A brief note in the front of the book asks a reader how many creatures can be found. The note comes with a humorous illustration about lemonade, so hopefully is not missed. This collection does not equal similar works by Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein, but the poems do provide some smiles, especially to kindergartners and first grade students. The poems also show that even ordinary things can become topics for poetry. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2- This contribution to the celebrity canon is by no means the worst, and Foxworthy's collection of light verse courts both fans of the comedian and their children. The brief poems are perfect for rote memorization assignments and cover familiar, kid-friendly topics like lost baseball hats and bubble baths. Björkman's artwork peppers every page with tykes and friendly suburban wildlife in perpetual states of pop-eyed delight. Alert readers may spot a note on the verso of the title that suggests an "I Spy"-esque hunt for images in the illustrations for the poem "What Do You See?" The suggestion looks and feels like an afterthought, buried as it is in fine print amid the bibliographic data. But never mind; this is still a respectable choice. Kudos to Foxworthy for his role in the production of an appealing, easy read.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
Children's Literature - Katie Ashley
Jeff Foxworthy brings his comedy to children through a hilarious collection of poems about hide and seek, playing pretend, and those eccentric family members we all have. Foxworthy writes about what it’s like to be a kid. Readers are introduced to the quirks of memorable characters, like Aunt Foo-Foo and Uncle Ed: “He has big red cowboy boots. And she has big red hair.” Characters like Grandaddy and Grandma, Roly-Polys, as well as an I-Spy-like adventure with the poem What Do You See?, create a fun way to enjoy poetry. Foxworthy uses imaginative language and engaging plays on words, making this book a great pick for children who want to laugh and learn at the same time. It is ideal for giving younger students an introduction into the poetry genre and rhyming words. These poems can be used to inspire creativity from students in the classroom. However, the book lacks diversity. While the illustrations depict children who seem to come from different ethnicities and cultures, the book itself is mainly about southern white culture, which Foxworthy’s stand-up comedy usually addresses. Because of this, this book would be best used alongside other poetry books that are more culturally relevant. However, Steve Bjorkman’s vivid and bold-colored illustrations of kids being kids will appeal to younger elementary students. Reviewer: Katie Ashley; Ages 4 to 8.