A Pizza the Size of the Sun

A Pizza the Size of the Sun

4.8 12
by Jack Prelutsky, James Stevenson

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Jack Prelutsky is widely acknowledged as the poet laureate of the younger generation. (And many people would happily see him crowned with no age qualification.) The New Kid on the Block and Something Big Has Been Here are household words wherever there are kids.

Here is another wondrously rich, varied, clever - and always funny - collection. Meet Miss

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Jack Prelutsky is widely acknowledged as the poet laureate of the younger generation. (And many people would happily see him crowned with no age qualification.) The New Kid on the Block and Something Big Has Been Here are household words wherever there are kids.

Here is another wondrously rich, varied, clever - and always funny - collection. Meet Miss Misinformation, Swami Gourami, and Gladiola Gloppe (and her Soup Shoppe), and delight in a backwards poem, a poem that ever ends, and scores of others that will be changed, read, and loved by readers of every age. The Prelutsky-Stevenson duo is irresistible. Whether you begin at the beginning or just open the book at random, you won't stop smiling.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poetry's bad boys are back again, teaming up to take another swipe at stuffiness. Prelutsky's predilection for playfulness percolates throughout this collection of slyly subversive rhymes, and he couldn't ask for a better partner in crime than Stevenson, whose droll, minimalist sketches so enlivened the duo's previous escapades (The New Kid on the Block; Something BIG Has Been Here). Once again Prelutsky demonstrates a robust appreciation of the absurdand an uncanny knack for turning every possible subject on its head. Here his verse ranges from the short and sweet ("My mother makes me chicken,/ her chicken makes me cough./ I wish that when she made it,/ she took the feathers off") to poems of Jabberwockian silliness (the entry that begins " `I'm ceiling fad!' a money boned./ `Alas!' a carrot pride" is just one example). The pages are peppered with kinetic black-and-white drawings; like Thurber, Stevenson wrings a wealth of humor and emotion out of a few dashes of ink. If a laugh is what's needed, just hand over the keys and let these two drive. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A large collection of humorous poems on a variety of subjects that will appeal to kids. "My Gerbil Seemed Bedraggled" is a great commentary on this adorable pet that seems to produce offspring overnight. Or maybe the short poem "Milk!" will be the one you remember -- it tells of the protagonist who will no longer drink milk since he found out where it comes from. The never-ending poem could drive you crazy. Stevenson's comical black-and-white drawings provide added amusement.
Library Journal
Fresh from the triumph of Isaac's Storm, which told the story of the deadly 1900 Galveston hurricane, Larson leaps into a dual tale set around the World's Columbian Exposition, semi-officially known as the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. The event was to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of America. It did that and also highlighted America's second most populous city, filled with energy, smoke, architectural genius, and animal and sometime human slaughter. Architect Daniel H. Burnham faced a near impossible task: design and construct hundreds of buildings, some monumental in size and grandeur, in the face of an incredibly tight schedule. The author describes the challenges Burnham faced, but his greatest challenge and greatest achievement was the melding of the diverse cast of characters who created the Great White City, so-called because most of the fair's buildings were painted white. Seminal landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was on hand to complain and create; so were contentious union organizers and agitators, jealous colleagues, builders, and wheeler-dealers. Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Herman Webster Mudgett, a.k.a. Henry H. Holmes, had built a bizarre structure aimed at trapping, exploiting, and killing young women. The story of the psychopath contrasts with Burnham's, though sometimes the analogies seem strained or absent. Reader Scott Brick has a young and mildly expressive voice; what is lacking is dialog-even invented (educated, of course) dialog would have added an element of interest and suspense. Still, the tale is finely crafted and deeply researched. An excellent selection for both American history and true crime collections.-Don Wismer, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6Yet another masterful collection of poems by the prolific Prelutsky, filled with zany people, improbable creatures, and rhythm and rhyme galore, all combining to celebrate the unusual, the mundane, and the slightly gruesome ("Eyeballs for sale!/Fresh eyeballs for sale!/Delicious, nutritious,/Not moldy or stale."). Each page is brimming with Stevenson's complementary, droll watercolors, reproduced here in black and white. As with their other collaborations (The New Kid on the Block [1984] and Something Big Has Been Here [1990, both Greenwillow]) this book is a sure bet. Perfect for reading aloud or alone, it will be reached for again and again by teachers, parents, kids, librarians, and anyone else who likes poems that make them chuckle. As a matter of fact, this book should be required reading for those out there who claim they don't like poetry. If you can only afford one poetry collection this year, make it this one.Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of well over 100 poems that pop and sparkle like firecrackers, well up to the standard set by this team's Something BIG Has Been Here (1990) and The New Kid on the Block (1984).

The poems vary—some are little packets of energy ("Sardines": "Their daily lives are bland,/and if they land—/they're canned") while others allow readers to take a stroll through their treasure-filled lines. Prelutsky puts his obvious delight in words to work, employing backwards writing and mirror writing, different typefaces and font sizes, unconventional typesetting, and unfamiliar words—children will scramble to find out what a manticore is and why its eyeballs might be nutritious. The poems' subjects range from spaghetti seeds, to a flock of defiant pigeons, to more philosophical musings: "I'm drifting through negative space,/a frown on my lack of a face,/attempting to hear/with a tenuous ear/what nobody says in this place." Prelutsky loosens his agile imagination in words, while around the pages cavort Stevenson's interpretive line drawings, shimmy-shimmying to the beat. Terrific.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

A Pizza the Size of the Sun

I'm making a pizza the size of the sun,
a pizza that's sure to weigh more than a ton,
a pizza too massive to pick up and toss,
a pizza resplendent with oceans of sauce.

I'm topping my pizza with mountains of cheese,
with acres of peppers, pimentos and peas,
with mushrooms, tomatoes, and sausage galore,
with every last olive they had at the store.

My pizza is sure to be one of a kind,
my pizza will leave other pizzas behind,
my pizza will be a delectable treat
that all who love pizza are welcome to eat.

The oven is hot, I believe it will take
a year and a half for my pizza to bake.
I hardly can wait till my pizza is done,
my wonderful pizza the size of the sun.

Eyeballs for Sale!

Eyeballs for sale!
Fresh eyeballs for sale!
Delicious, nutritious, not moldy or stale.
Eyeballs from manticores,
ogres, and elves,
fierce dragon eyeballs
that cook by themselves.

Eyeballs served cold!
Eyeballs served hot!
if you like eyeballs,
then this is the spot.
Ladle a glassful,
a bowlful, or pail—
Eyeballs! Fresh eyeballs!
Fresh eyeballs for sale!

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