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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spinster Goose, written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Atheneum, Simon & Schuster. 2011. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"The pinchers get pinched,
and the pokers get poked.
The biters get bit,
and the smokers get smoked.
The takers get taken.
The sordid get sore.
The shakers get shaken
right down to the core."

The last day of April and I still have some poetry books to share with you. I will try to post about each of them before moving on to something else.Let's start with this full-o-fun collection. Did you know there are children out there who would give Mother Goose a run for her money? Well, I hope you don't necessarily know them personally. However, you may recognize them among these witty verses and you will be glad to know that Mother Goose's sister has a better track record for handling such brats!

Spinster Goose seems  impervious to the imps who come to her school, and deals with them in quick time. She knows exactly what should happen to those children who lie, cheat, steal, pinch, poke and bite. It also seems she knows just the right environment for these wayward charges:

"Not painted up pretty,
it's mottled and gray.
The grounds are a nightmare.
(She likes it that way.)

She deals with them unconventionally, but appropriately:

"There are hundreds of rules
all beginning with NO,
and Spinster's bleak school
is the place you will go
if you are a brat
and you need to outgrow
your horrible habits

       She waits down below."

Aren't kids going to love listening? I am off to a grade three class this week to share my poetry journals and some new poetry and you can bet this one will be at the top of the pile. I cannot wait to see and hear their reactions.

With tongue in cheek and a propensity for wonderful word choice, Lisa Wheeler creates poetry that will be enjoyed over numerous readings. Listeners will want to compare these ones with familiar poems from their own repertoire, will be dancing in their seats, and will want time to look very closely at the watercolor and ink illustrations of Sophie Blackall. She picks up on the tone of the poems and adds just the right humorous touch to make the wicked creatures live on each pages.

You are in for a fun time when you share this book!

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