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What's the Weather Inside?

What's the Weather Inside?

3.7 4
by Karma Wilson, Barry Blitt (Illustrator)

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Here are more than 120 hysterical, philosophical, rhetorical, and commonsensical poems and pictures that explore the perfectly not-so-perfect world of picky kids, Miss Muffet's revenge, magic homework wands, yellow snow, and Sunday's sundaes!

New York Times bestselling author Karma Wilson and renowned New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt have created a


Here are more than 120 hysterical, philosophical, rhetorical, and commonsensical poems and pictures that explore the perfectly not-so-perfect world of picky kids, Miss Muffet's revenge, magic homework wands, yellow snow, and Sunday's sundaes!

New York Times bestselling author Karma Wilson and renowned New Yorker cartoonist Barry Blitt have created a brilliantly entertaining poetry collection sure to be a source of pleasure and inspiration to kids everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

"If you think poems are stupid/ and poetry's a bore,/ ... / and if you're sure this book's the same/ as all you've read before.../ I dare ya, yes, I dare ya: Turn the page." Early on, Wilson (Bear Snores On) throws down the gauntlet in her wide-ranging book of humorous, often edgy poetry, Silversteinian in its format and sensibility. Coupled with ink-drawn caricatures by Blitt (The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven), the poems range from modern parables ("I'm telling you now that I'd rather eat cow/ than that goo that my aunt calls tofu./ Ew") to more experimental verse. On one spread, a list of "lovely" words ("moonlight,/ butterfly,/ chamomile") faces another with "ugly" words ("traitor,/ homicide,/ moron"). Blitt's artwork adeptly magnifies the tones that the poems strike: in "Golden Eggs," a goose wearing a crown and "Bling" pendant stares at an empty cradle. "[She'd] rather have/ one fluffy chick/ than a million golden eggs." The darker poems will not appeal to all, but from the silly to the unsavory, there's plenty to provoke and entertain. Ages 6-10. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
While the title of this new collection of more than 120 poems suggests a sensitive exploration of kids' inner lives, what Wilson delivers is plenty of kid-pleasing humor. Some of the poems invert expectations by showing adults engaging in problematic behavior more typically attributed to children: it is Grandma who turns out to be the rude one who chews with her mouth open, and the bus driver who turns out to be the bully who gets kicked off the bus (i.e., fired) for picking on the riders. Many of the poems are unabashedly gross: Little Miss Muffet squishes the spider, a boy and his dog share the same piece of dental floss, someone pukes after eating too many S'Mores (and now wants n'more), a dad gets gas after drinking a liquid (milk) and eating a solid (chili beans). Some generate fun through language, meditating on the spelling of "onomatopoeia" or the unreliable spelling rule, "i before e except after c." And others simply celebrate the ordinary texture of childhood experience, from science fairs to family reunions. Blitt's energetic drawings explode off the page, sometimes false to the letter of the poems but always true to their spirit, contributing a rich and inventive partnership between text and art and adding to the considerable fun of this lively collection. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5–This collection of more than 100 poems features comical wordplay (“Oh, Brother” opens: “If r were taken out of brother/Your brother would just be a bother…”) as well as lots of fun riffs on Mother Goose rhymes and fairy tales. Many are about family, friends, and school. Anyone familiar with Wilson’s picture books knows that she’s a good writer with a fresh eye and a knack for child appeal. Those qualities are very much in evidence here. The humorous, light tone is similar to Jack Prelutsky’s work, although Wilson has a serious side, too. For example, “Golden Eggs” shows a goose wearing a necklace labeled BLING; she’s looking at an empty cradle, and the poem reads, “She’d rather have/One fluffy chick/than a million golden eggs, you see.” Blitt’s line drawings are a great match for the verses. They are funny, dynamic, and full of personality. Plenty of white space adds to the accessible, inviting look. All in all, a great choice for read-alouds or individual enjoyment.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, / don't be a dope. / Cut off your hair / and make your own rope." These witty words are representative of the poems assembled in this clever, if not exceptional, collection. While the majority of the entries skew toward silly, some are more reflective. "The Simple Things," for instance, begins: "If you've ever hiked for miles on end / on a trail that twists and climbs and bends / and you finally stop to take a rest- / well, that's when simple things are best." Blitt's cartoon illustrations, done in pen, ink and watercolor, often extend the poems in creative ways. For instance, the cartoon accompanying "Please Peel My Peach"-which reads: "Fuzzy fruit I think is best / when fruit is more / and fuzz is less"-depicts a determined boy with a razor held to a lathered-up peach. Not an essential purchase, but the short, often-funny poems may draw in those who don't typically seek out poetry. (Poetry. 6-10)

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

What's the Weather Inside?

What's the weather like inside?
What's the forecast say?
Is that a breeze of memory blown in from yesterday?
Has a fog of doubt rolled in upon the winds of change?
Or floods of creativity with just a chance of strange?
A jolt of anger followed by the thunder of despair?
A lilt of laughter floating on a future bright and fair?
What's the weather like inside?
Tune in and take a look.
Is that a brainstorm coming on?
Curl up and write a book.

I dare Ya

If you think poems are stupid and poetry's a bore,
if every poem you've ever read has almost made you snore,
and if you're sure this book's the same as all you've read before...
I dare ya, yes, I dare ya: Turn the page.

Miss Muffet's Revenge

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating a yogurt parfait.
Along came a spider,
who sat down beside her.
She squished it and flicked it away.

What Your Dog Might Be Thinking

I love to pee on the flower bed.
I love to eat things smelly and dead.
I love the smell of putridness.
I love to frolic in rottenness.
I love to bury my bones in a hole.
I love to drink from the toilet bowl.
I love to munch what the garbage man misses.
I love to give my people kisses. SLURP!

What Your Cat Might Be Thinking

I'm the center of the universe.
I'm all-out royalty.
There really isn't anyone who's near as good as me.
And everything that's ever done is done just for my bidding.
And I shall banish anyone I do not deem befitting.
Laps were made to be my throne,
and hands were made to pet me.
And anything I want to do,
of course, you have to let me.
And if you open up a book,
then that's to lay my head on.
And if you put your sweater down,
well, that's for me to shed on.
And if you plant a pretty plant,
well, that's for me to chew.
And if you bring a puppy home,
well, that's the end of you.

What Your Hamster Might Be Thinking

Through the kitchen down the hall


I don't like naps.
In fact, I hate 'em . .
. unless my baby brother takes 'em.

Changing Time

It's changing time for brother.
It's time to change that diaper.
Dirty, stinky, icky poo.
It's changing time again.

Somebody change him now!
Will someone change my brother?
Me? Gee, it's not so bad.
It's not quite changing time.

Alligator Purse

"Oh, dahling, don't you love my purse?
It's genuine alligator."
She said that just this morning,
but then a little later she reached inside for something and it ate her.

Inside a Tornado

I wonder what it might be like inside a big tornado.
Floating free, like Dorothy,
you'd ride the rushing flow.
Twirling, swirling, whirling,
maybe shouting as you go...
"HELP! I DO NOT WANT TO BE INSIDE THIS BIG TORNADO!" Text copyright © 2009 by Karma Wilson

Meet the Author

Karma Wilson is the bestselling author of several picture books for Simon & Schuster, including the Bear Books series and Where Is Home, Little Pip? Karma lives in Montana.

Barry Blitt’s illustrations have appeared on more than eighty New Yorker covers and have also graced the pages of The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. He is the illustrator of Once Upon a Time, the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds) by Geoffrey Koske and The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn by Robert Burleigh, as well as other picture books. He lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.

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What's the Weather Inside? 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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