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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Your Skeleton is Showing:Rhymes of Blunder From Six Feet Under, written by Kurt Cyrus and illustrated by Crab Scrambly. Disney Hyperion, Hachette. 2013. $17.99 all ages

"Lem Tremolo

Once upon a podium
a public speaker died
from sweating so much sodium
he shriveled up inside.

Terror frozen on his face,
body fluids leaking.
Just another routine case
of death by public speaking."

I got this book prior to a workshop I was helping present, where my friend Don and I were sharing great books with a large group of teachers and teacher-librarians. I laughed out loud at some of the poems and marked a number to share the following day. They made us all giggle!

Here's a warning to thumb-suckers:

Tim Limber

"Choked on his elbow," the coroner swore.
Another poor thumb-sucker, greedy for more."

In his collection of 28 poems, nothing much is off limits about body parts to Kurt Cyrus. It's gross; sure to make parents shudder and their kids celebrate the very clever humor of every single one. The poems are connected front to back in the story of a boy and a dog, who find each other in a graveyard:


In a graveyard, through the fog,
I thought I saw a ghostly dog.
He followed me from stone to stone.
The dog was lost. Afraid. Alone.
And also dead. It's plain to see.
I couldn't take him home with me.
And so we ventured through the gloom
to try to find his master's tomb."

We are privy to their travels throughout the rest of the book as Crab Scrambly makes sure to include them on each spread. The final poem is also theirs. It is a poem of love lost and love found once more. In between we meet a cast of eerie characters who will have some listeners cringing, but most will be delighting in the Halloween fun of it all. Take is not just a Halloween book. It is a book that can, and will, be enjoyed for months to come. 

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