Bruce Lansky has edited a number of poetry anthologies (including Rolling in the Aisles, Kids Pick the Funniest Poems, If Kids Ruled the School, A Bad Case of the Giggles, Miles of Smiles, and No More Homework! No More Tests!), and 3 silly songbook anthologies. Lansky created the popular GigglePoetry.com website for children and the PoetryTeachers.com website for teachers. He also created the Girls to the Rescue series, the New Fangled Fairy Tales series, and the Can You Solve the Mysteries series.
If Pigs Could Fly... and Other Deep Thoughtsby Bruce Lansky, Stephen Carpenter
If Pigs Could Fly: and Other Deep Thoughts is a collection of Bruce Lansky's own hilarious poems about everything kids are concerned with, including: smelly diapers, chubby relatives, toothless grandmas, dirty socks, impolite dogs, burping babies, bad hair days and more. The poems in this book have been tested on over 1,000 schoolchildren and their/i>
If Pigs Could Fly: and Other Deep Thoughts is a collection of Bruce Lansky's own hilarious poems about everything kids are concerned with, including: smelly diapers, chubby relatives, toothless grandmas, dirty socks, impolite dogs, burping babies, bad hair days and more. The poems in this book have been tested on over 1,000 schoolchildren and their teachers so that only the most giggle-packed poems are included.
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If pigs could fly then I'd like this book. Unfortunately, this book doesn't take off any better than a pseudo-aerodynamic swine. I'm a grade school teacher who is always searching for material to fill my students with a love for reading. Poetry, in its bite-sized snippets, often turns children on to reading more than lengthier prose. However, this particular book of poetry did not generate any enthusiasm among my students. My students were not able to eloquently relate why they didn't enjoy this title, but I think I can guess. These poems don't speak with the 'voice' of delight that appeals to children. It's not that the poems aren't silly. The problem is that these poems are amateurish, lacking the polish that the masterpieces of the genre demonstrate. This title shows that writing children's poetry is not easy. If it was, then maybe pigs could fly.
I've been a fan of children's poetry since my parents bought me that first copy of Shel Silverstein's poetry. Unfortunately, this collection of dreary verse sent me running back to Silverstein to remind me of what children's poetry should be. The greats of children's poetry always demonstrated an undercurrent of joy in their efforts. It is an understatement to say that there is no joy inherent within the poetry of this book. Indeed, unlike Silverstein, who was always able to write with that sense of childlike wonder, this author only manages to write with childish ignorance. There is an almost frightening coarseness that underlies this verse, demonstrated by crude topics that should turn off most parents. I was not familiar with this author before picking up If Pigs Could Fly. There is nothing here that would tempt me to come back for another try. It's just another reminder that few can compete with Shel Silverstein.