Science Verse

( 5 )


Don't ever tease a wee amoeba
By calling him a her amoeba.
And don't call her a him amoeba.
Or never he a she amoeba.
'Cause whether his or hers amoeba,
They too feel like you and meba.

What if a boring lesson about the food chain becomes a sing-aloud celebration about predators and prey? A ...

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Don't ever tease a wee amoeba
By calling him a her amoeba.
And don't call her a him amoeba.
Or never he a she amoeba.
'Cause whether his or hers amoeba,
They too feel like you and meba.

What if a boring lesson about the food chain becomes a sing-aloud celebration about predators and prey? A twinkle-twinkle little star transforms into a twinkle-less, sunshine-eating-and rhyming Black Hole? What if amoebas, combustion, metamorphosis, viruses, the creation of the universe are all irresistible, laugh-out-loud poetry? Well, you're thinking in science verse, that's what. And if you can't stop the rhymes . . . the atomic joke is on you. Only the amazing talents of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the team who created Math Curse, could make science so much fun.

When the teacher tells his class that they can hear the poetry of science in everything, a student is struck with a curse and begins hearing nothing but science verses that sound very much like some well-known poems.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Switching subjects from math to science, the bestselling team of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith teach another hilarious lesson for fans, telling how one student acquires "Science Verse" and begins hearing "the poetry of science in everything." Following a similar format to Math Curse, this refreshing romp covers topics from evolution to astronomy as one boy dreams up zany scientific poetry during class. Scieszka comes up with loads of knee-slapping poems -- including many based on classics -- such as the colorized spin on Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" called "Gobblegooky" (" 'Twas fructose, and the vitamins / Did zinc and dye (red #8)"), and "Scientific Method at the Bat." Readers are also taken on an imaginative journey in "Mini Ha Ha (Or, the Atomic Joke Is on You)" as well as "Astronaut Stopping by a Planet on a Snowy Evening," finally landing back in the class with the boy, who declares himself cured of his illness -- until the next class and ailment, that is. As usual, Scieszka and Smith make a dynamic pair, always keeping the energy flowing throughout the book with effervescent text and remarkable collage illustrations. Anyone who might be described as science challenged will surely enjoy the book, making it a cool companion to Math Curse and an essential addition for those looking to build their Scieszka/Smith collections. An invigorating book with all the right chemistry for jovial reading. Matt Warner
From the Publisher
“Clever and often droll, the verse ably juggles facts, meter, and rhyme schemes and usually reflects a student’s point of view: grossed out by the human body, bored by yet another year of dinosaur study, more concerned about writing down the right answer than getting at the truth….A beautifully designed book—intelligent, irreverent, inviting, and downright irresistible.”—Booklist, starred review
Publishers Weekly
Here the science instructor takes over the role assumed by the math teacher in Math Curse, as the madcap collaborators deliver another riotous lesson. They cover such topics as the human body, black holes, dinosaurs, atoms, planets and the beginning of the universe, courtesy of Santa's big sneeze ("Merry big bang to all! And to all Gesundheit!"). A wide-eyed, bespectacled boy laments that Mr. Newton has "zapped [him] with a curse of science verse." Some of the liveliest poems can be sung to popular tunes: "Glory, glory, evolution./ Darwin found us a solution" inspires a hilarious time-lapse art panel beginning with a stooping ape sporting the hero's red bow-tie up to how he appears today. Sprightly spoofs on well-known poems also abound, such as ditties based on nursery rhymes and a nutrition-oriented spin on Jabberwocky, "Gobblegooky" ("Oh, can you slay the Gobblegook,/ Polyunsaturated boy?/ 3,000 calories! Don't look!/ The sugars! Fats! Oh soy"); Smith pulls out all the stops with the collage monster he unleashes, a horned, six-fingered beast bearing lecithin, phosphoric acid and the like. As their fans would expect, Scieszka and Lane lean toward the outrageous; alongside a picture of an electrified person-cum-skeleton sticking a fork in a toaster runs this limerick: "There once was a man of science,/ Not one of your mental giants./ He decided to settle/ The question: Does metal/ Fix an electrical appliance?" Students attracted to this zany classroom will be thrilled by the book's closing hint of an art lesson next on the agenda. Ages 7-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The warped team of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith have done it again, Science Verse follows the book, Math Curse when everything was seen through a math filter. In this fun romp, the children are told "...if you listen closely enough, you can hear the poetry of science in everything." The beleaguered student from Math Curse now has science poems running through his head. For example, "Evolution. Glory, glory evolution. Darwin found us a solution. Your mama is that shape, and your knuckles always scrape...'Cause Grandpa was an ape." They also explain the age-old puzzler of "Why Scientists Don't Write Nursery Rhymes." Because this would be the result, "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack jump over the combustion reaction of O2 + heat + fuel to form CO2 + light + heat + exhaust. A fun read for kids from grade school to college and every science nut in your family. 2004, Viking, Ages 8 up.
—Sharon Levin
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-In Math Curse (Viking, 1995), a teacher's chance comment causes a girl to see every aspect of her life as a math problem. This time around, the fun starts when a boy hears this remark: "-if you listen closely enough, you can hear the poetry of science in everything." What follows is a series of poems that parody the styles of Joyce Kilmer, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Robert Frost, and many others, as well as familiar songs and nursery rhymes. "Once in first grade I was napping/When I heard a scary yapping" begins a lament about studying dinosaurs year after year. In "Astronaut Stopping by a Planet on a Snowy Evening," the narrator bemoans the fact that he can't figure out what planet he's on because "In science class I was asleep-." Children need not be familiar with the works upon which the spoofs are based to enjoy the humor, but this is a perfect opportunity to introduce the originals and to discuss parody as a poetic form. The dynamic cartoons are an absolute delight. The expressions on the face of the beleaguered boy keep readers smiling and the pages are chock-full of funny details that are in perfect sync with the poems. Printed in a cream-colored, readable font and set against solid backgrounds, the text is never overwhelmed by the frenetic illustrations. Fans of Scieszka and Smith will be in heaven, but the book will appeal to one and all.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In 1995, Mrs. Fibonacci laid a Math Curse; this year, it's Mr. Newton who says, " . . . if you listen closely enough, you can hear the poetry of science in everything." What follows is a madcap collection of science poetry that lampoons familiar songs ("Glory, glory, evolution") and poems ("Once in first grade I was napping"). The whole lacks the zany unity of its predecessor, opting for an impressionistic tour of scientific terms and principles; the illustrations are less integrated into the text as well, if individually often quite inspired (a set of antiqued nursery rhyme panels are just perfect). Some of the poems rise to the level of near genius (" 'Twas fructose, and the vitamins / Did zinc and dye [red #8]"), while others settle for the satisfyingly gross ("Mary had a little worm. / She thought it was a chigger"). If this offering falls short of the standard set by Math Curse, it will nevertheless find an eager audience, who will hope that the results of Mr. Picasso's curse will soon be forthcoming. (Poetry. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670910571
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/23/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 223,703
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.98 (w) x 11.16 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Scieszka

Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (illustrated by Lane Smith).  In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called “Guys Read” that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the country’s first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for children’s literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading. You can visit Jon online at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2014

    Super Awesome

    I love these poems. They are witty and funny. I actually buy this book for all the new moms, so their babies can loves science like I do!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2008

    A great book!

    Children of all ages love to learn with rhyme. This is a great book and so much fun to use in the classroom. As a science college professor, I even share it with my students as many of them are studying to be teachers. It's entertaining and can be used as a bridge between writing and science. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2007

    LOVE IT!!!

    I absolutely love this book. I love science and the little verses are so much fun and some of them really make sense. Even though the book is one of an older reader, my three year niece thinks its just plain funny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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