If You Were a Chocolate Mustache

Overview

In this tasty collection, J. Patrick Lewis displays the breadth and depth of his talent, giving readers of any and every sensibility something to make them laugh out loud. He stirs humor into an astonishing array of subjects—from animals to school to dragons to food. And he delivers them in a remarkable variety of forms, including riddles, limericks, nonsense rhymes, parodies, anagrams, story poems, haiku, and more. Baked in Lewis’s brilliant imagination and sprinkled with Matthew Cordell’s warm, witty drawings, ...

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Overview

In this tasty collection, J. Patrick Lewis displays the breadth and depth of his talent, giving readers of any and every sensibility something to make them laugh out loud. He stirs humor into an astonishing array of subjects—from animals to school to dragons to food. And he delivers them in a remarkable variety of forms, including riddles, limericks, nonsense rhymes, parodies, anagrams, story poems, haiku, and more. Baked in Lewis’s brilliant imagination and sprinkled with Matthew Cordell’s warm, witty drawings, the result is a collection to delight the taste buds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In offbeat poems that include haikus, limericks, riddles, and wordplay of every kind, current children’s poet laureate Lewis offers quirky contemplations, silly vignettes, and improbable events. Rather than rely on a single theme, Lewis smoothly jumps between out-of-left-field ideas: a dragon serves as a clothes dryer, Bigfoot laments that he can’t find stylish shoes in his size, and an old turtle complains to the sky that there is “nothing new under the sun,” only to have his claim challenged by a snowflake. The result: loosely integrated poems that can easily stand on their own. Cordell’s pen-and-ink cartoons have an improvisational energy that complements Lewis’s off-kilter verse. Ages 8–up. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
 "Prolific versifier, author, riddlizer (etc.) Lewis offers this mostly new (a few appeared in magazines or anthologies) collection of laughs and linguistic lampoons…poetry (and silliness) seekers will find much to feast upon. Cordell’s scribbly illustrations bring the master (Silverstein, who receives a tribute poem here) to mind and are the goofy icing on this goofy cake. Verse seekers could do worser than to swallow down this course of funky, funny forms of wordy wit."—Kirkus Reviews

". . . Lewis is not only one of the most prolific, comic poets; he's also one of the funniest and most inventive. The collection will serve as a strong resource for creative-writing prompts. A great big feast of poems."— School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This humorous compilation of poems by the current U.S. Children's Poet Laureate conveys a whimsical and witty view of life as seen by children. Using a variety of poetic forms that children, teachers, and parents will recognize, the poet regales his readers on subjects like penguins, pretzels, moths, and tightropes. Lewis has great insights as to the type of topics that will draw younger readers' interests and plays to those well. For reasons that will be obvious as one browses through the variety of poems, teachers will find this an effective compilation to draw from in to help students understand how various poetic forms allow poets to tell stories and create imagery that speaks to an audience. The pen and ink drawings throughout the text support the humor and poetry, and the illustrator uses his space effectively. The collection is one that younger readers should enjoy and encourage older readers to pull out their Shel Silverstein as it will remind them of his compilations in the best possible way. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–8—This meaty collection presents more than 150 pages of poetry and wordplay. Each selection is flavored by a humorous pen-and-ink illustration by Cordell, who tends to favor a literal reading of events. For the poem "Tuna on a Roll," a no-frills, pen-and-ink drawing of a tuna fish wearing sunglasses and speeding along in a sporty convertible immediately gives the sense that "there's something fishy here." Besides fishy fish, the menu offers tongue-twisters; riddles; limericks based on body parts, e.g., "limb-ricks"; anagrams; puzzles; and haiku. Subjects range from a car that's light as a feather, with Marshmallow Fluff seats, to an imaginary pet on a leash whose owner can claim, "He never messes on the lawn./He's what it means to say, "Doggone!…" There are "Epigraham Crackers"; haiku riddles of U.S. place-names; homonym-inspired poems; and wry bits of advice, such as, "never eat your pretzels straight./A pretzel ought to circul8!.…" Lewis is not only one of the most prolific, comic poets; he's also one of the funniest and most inventive. The collection will serve as a strong resource for creative-writing prompts. A great big feast of poems.—Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Prolific versifier, author, riddlizer (etc.) Lewis offers this mostly new (a few appeared in magazines or anthologies) collection of laughs and linguistic lampoons. "[A] book is like an oven-- / What it's cookin' is book lovin'. / Set the temperature, then shove in / Every brain cell you can find." And there's plenty shoved in here, from two-word poems (not including the titles) to 30-liners. There are concrete poems and list poems, rap (from a giraffe), limericks, haiku, riddles and haiku riddles. There's even a jump-rope rhyme. There are verses on blog-writing dogs, insects, germs, boredom, school and the hazards of the incorrect usage of Elmer's glue and eating paste (but those are totally different things). There are myriad meters, rhyme schemes and shapes. A few are a bit tortured, and there are a couple total head-scratchers. However, poetry (and silliness) seekers will find much to feast upon. Cordell's scribbly illustrations bring the master (Silverstein, who receives a tribute poem here) to mind and are the goofy icing on this goofy cake. Verse seekers could do worser than to swallow down this course of funky, funny forms of wordy wit. (Poetry. 6-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590789278
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 605,185
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Patrick Lewis is the 2011 winner of the NCTE Award for Poetry and is the current Children's Poet Laureate. He has written more than sixty books for children and adults, including Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles and Please Bury Me in the Library. He has two other books scheduled: When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders (Chronicle) and The National Geographic Book of Animal Poems (an anthology Lewis edited for National Geographic). He lives in Westerville, Ohio.

Matthew Cordell is the author-illustrator of Trouble Gum and Another Brother and the illustrator of Toby and the Snowflake, among many other titles. His black-and-white art has appeared in Gail Carson Levine's poetry collection Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems, Rachel Vail's Justin Case series of books, and Julie Sternberg's Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie. He lives in the suburbs of Chicago.

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