The Alligator in the Closet: And Other Poems around the House

The Alligator in the Closet: And Other Poems around the House

by David L. Harrison, Jane Kendall
     
 

The socks that don't match, the mouse asleep in the tissue box, the creepy creak upon the stair, the dying wasp on the windowsill that breaks your heart . . . These are some of the themes that David L. Harrison touches on in this unique collection of poems. Combining a wit, whimsy, and thoughtfulness, the author of the ever-popular Somebody Catch My Homework,

Overview

The socks that don't match, the mouse asleep in the tissue box, the creepy creak upon the stair, the dying wasp on the windowsill that breaks your heart . . . These are some of the themes that David L. Harrison touches on in this unique collection of poems. Combining a wit, whimsy, and thoughtfulness, the author of the ever-popular Somebody Catch My Homework, explores both the physical stuff and the oh-so-familiar moments of home in a way that is sure to delight young readers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Harrison has taken his inspiration from objects that one typically finds around the house. The opening poem, "The Guest in the Pantry," gives us a peek into the life of a little mouse who lives in a tissue box on the shelf. Believe it or not, I too had a little mouse that decided to make a nest using the tissues in a box in one of my cupboards — so I know just how it goes. However, I as not quite so sanguine and did not consider it as just a little friend or pet, but rather something that I wanted quickly removed from my house. Soft pen and ink and watercolor illustrations are spread across the pages of this book, and the one accompanying this particular poem is really a delight. The little mouse looks quite happy under his little tissue blanket. Some of the poems will lend themselves to performance calling for two voices, particularly "Tock Talk," "The Thermostat Wars," "Who Was That? I Don't Know," and "The Alligator in the Closet" which is the title for the collection. Others can be read aloud or just savored alone. This collection will amuse young readers and bring smiles to adults. "Company's Coming" and "The Dust Man" are definitely ones that would appeal more to adults. However, kids will laugh because they too are frequently involved in the mad scurry to clean up things when company is due to arrive. This is a collection that will work in any library. It also can lend itself to supporting potential lessons for kids to try their hand at writing a poem about something as commonplace as their bed, chair, favorite place to read, and the like. 2003, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press,
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This collection of light verse looks at subjects ranging from crickets to clocks, dogs to dust. Thirty-one poems employ various rhyme schemes as they describe everyday things and situations that many children will relate to: company coming, a favorite chair, secretly feeding the dog under the table, toilet paper that has run out. Oftentimes concretely descriptive ("Diapers in the bathtub/Stroller in the hall/Highchair in the kitchen/Spinach on the wall-"), but occasionally employing metaphor (a baby spider that's a "Bungee-jumping astronaut"), most verses are grounded in the commonplace and sometimes surprise ("Need protection?/I'm your man!/I bark at bad guys/Loud as I can!/I've barked all day/Since I was a pup,/But how do they thank me?/`Hey! Shut up!'"). However, some themes seem more adult-sleeplessness, the joyous revenge of passing on ugly family heirlooms, the thermostat wars between mom and dad-or take a nostalgic turn that will be enjoyed more by older children. The layout, cover, and relatively large-font size, however, suggest a younger set. The pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations scattered about the white pages are for the most part skillfully drawn, with a delicate line and lots of color, adding humor and helping to set the scene. They portray a middle-class milieu, which is in keeping with much of the poems' content, but the all-white cast limits the ability to imagine other people who might inhabit these lines. The verses can stand alone, however, and would make for fun reading aloud-especially the four poems for two voices.-Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781563979941
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

David L. Harrison has more than sixty books for children and adults, including The Book of Giant Stories, winner of the Christopher Medal. He lives in Springfield, Missouri.

Jane Kendall has illustrated more than two dozen books. She lives in Cos Cob, Connecticut. 

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