Flamingos on the Roof
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Flamingos on the Roof

5.0 3
by Calef Brown
     
 

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In the very near future you will find yourself dining on Snow Flurry at the famous Weatherbee’s Diner. Everyone will be there—Bob and Bossy Casey, Medusa’s sister Sally, both of the Appleton Twins, and Mr. Andy Mandolin singing “Biscuits in the Wind.” Remember him? You will also meet Angus, visit the silly Soggy Circus, and as soon as

Overview

In the very near future you will find yourself dining on Snow Flurry at the famous Weatherbee’s Diner. Everyone will be there—Bob and Bossy Casey, Medusa’s sister Sally, both of the Appleton Twins, and Mr. Andy Mandolin singing “Biscuits in the Wind.” Remember him? You will also meet Angus, visit the silly Soggy Circus, and as soon as the moon is out (unless there’s an eclipse), you may even glimpse a Tiny Baby Sphinx!

Until then, here’s what I recommend: listen for flamingos, write some haiku, then take a ride in a Barnacle Built for Two. Sound good to you?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brown's imaginative wordplay is matched by his acrylic paintings depicting people and places in unusual hues. . . . Silly it may be, but all the best kind, prompting the reader to see the world (slightly) askew and to delight in it."—Horn Book Horn Book

"Brown’s lively nonsense rhymes blend the mythic and the contemporary, as do his acrylic illustrations, part folk art, part postmodern. . . . Words and pictures manage to be both clear and weird, an enjoyable mix." ––Booklist Booklist, ALA

"Twenty-eight more flights of fancy from a rapidly improving nabob of nonsense. . . . Composed with a fine ear for consistent rhythms and silly wordplay, these verses will tempt readers into repeat visits."—Kirkus Kirkus Reviews

"A hearty salute to eccentricity."—Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

"The author's strong command of poetic form and his way with words make creating nonsense rhyme look effortless...Read aloud, these poems are sure to delight listeners." 15MinutesMagazine.com

Publishers Weekly
Brown (Polkabats and Octopus Slacks) angles for the Silverstein or Prelutsky mantle in this collection of zany rhymes and funky folk-boho paintings. "I eat my beans with lots of lard./ (The kind without the pork.)/ But here's the rub-/ this tasty grub/ just slides right off my fork," says one fellow, a monochrome study in stripes and swabs of denim blue, who recommends a ladle for slippery legumes. In a comical family portrait, a smug party girl praises her electrified birthday cake ("Plug it in and make a wish,/ then relax and flip the switch!"), while her offended grandfather dismisses the new-fangled gadget ("To get your wish without a doubt,/ you need to blow some candles out!"). In his holiday-spoofing title piece, children swear they've heard "flamingos on the roof" in December; other rhymes introduce "Allicattor Gatorpillar" and "Medusa's sister Sally," notable for her "single lazy snake" and for petrifying people with small talk. The acrylic paintings of wall-eyed oddballs recall Maira Kalman's na ve portraits or flea-market trophies; in one image, an enigmatically smiling, yellow-slicker-clad girl awaits a treat at "Weatherbee's Diner" where "they cook up a storm" ("The thunder is wonderful, order it loud,/ with sun-dried tornado on top of a cloud"). Brown's volume constitutes an uneven variety show, unified by a hearty salute to eccentricity. Ages 6-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This quirky picture book moves from poem to poem with little organization but a great deal of colorful detail and over-the-top humor. From poems about "biscuits in the wind" and "the crystal bowling ball," to ones about tiny baby sphinxes and Poseidon's hair, these one-page free-verse poems will engage budding poets who want poems they can understand. The majority of the poems highlight phrases like "He picked some kelp, and with some help, he made his own toupee. Although it smells of oyster shells and often floats away, old Poseidon loves his hair." These phrases provide the type of humor that matches the unusual nature of the illustrations. Brown's characters are exaggerated as far as the details in their faces and are often colorful and unique in composition. Younger children should enjoy the specifics in the illustrations, and parents or teachers can practice their read- aloud skills on these easy to read poems.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-These 29 nonsense poems, written in a variety of rhymed meters, are deliciously loaded with alliterative and assonant sounds and filled with delightful doggerel. Brown's playful verses are foolish ("Life is a dream/with a nautical theme/in a barnacle built for two."); preposterous ("Light bulbs on a birthday cake./What a difference that would make!"); exhilarating ("Boogie to the banjo./Bop to the bongo./Freeze like an igloo./Stomp like a buffalo" in the "Combo Tango"); and filled with wordplay ("Allicatter Gatorpillar/by and by/my oh my!/Allibutter Gatorfly!"). The author's strong command of poetic form and his way with words make creating nonsense rhyme look effortless. Full-page, flat acrylic illustrations, most painted in harmonious jewel tones, face single-toned pages of text in a variety of colors. The style is abstract with a folk-art quality, often cartoonish, and always whimsical. The characters have humorous, stylized features and varied skin tones, ranging from pale blue to light green to burnt umber. Packed with amusing details, the paintings consistently expand upon the text. Read aloud, these poems are sure to delight listeners. They also provide a great impetus for inspiring youngsters to write nonsense poetry of their own.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-eight more flights of fancy from a rapidly improving nabob of nonsense. Here, working mostly in flat, dark colors, Brown pairs scenes featuring stylized human and animal figures with big almond eyes to verses that introduce oddball sorts. So the portmanteau "Allicatter Gatorpillar," takes readers to "Weatherbee's Diner" where the cooks literally cook up a storm, and muse over such knotty questions as how an audience of slugs might applaud or whether it's right to have a birthday cake with light bulbs rather than candles. The art isn't all just post-modern decoration either; "Never mind the passing sights- / There's nothing much to see," Brown ironically assures readers as two riders in a "TV Taxi," eyes glued to boob tubes, pass obliviously by a dodo, a dinosaur and other uncommon sights. Composed with a fine ear for consistent rhythms and silly wordplay, these verses will tempt readers into repeat visits, or as the poet puts it: "Swivel on your kneecap. / Wobble like a mud flap. / Take a little catnap. / Do it all again!" (Poetry. 8-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618562985
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/03/2006
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
1,095,699
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Calef Brown began his career as a tour guide at an early age, when he discovered the simple joy of pointing things out. He is also an artist, writer, and frequently a blue elephant. Mr. Brown’s illustrations have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, and his paintings have been exhibited in N.Y., L.A., S.F., and other places without fancy initials, like Osaka and Rome. He lives in Maine.

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Flamingos on the Roof 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My toddler loves this book like nothing else. The rhymes are fun and bouncy. The illustrations are enticing and keep his attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
pie-maker More than 1 year ago
Lovely!!!