258. Exploding Gravy: Poems to Make You Laugh by X.J. Kennedy

Exploding Gravy: Poems to Make You Laugh by X.J. Kennedy. Illustrated by Joy Allen. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 117
Ages: 6+
Finished: Nov. 24, 2011
First Published: 2002
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co.
Genre: children, poetry
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:
My mother said, "If just once more
I hear you slam that old screen door,
I'll tear out my hair!
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my local library.

Reason for Reading: A bit of a story...As every year, I am participating in the AtoZ Challenge. For the first time, this year I only have the X's left and I will have completed it so I decided to actively search out books. Since it's so close to year end I decided to go with a juvenile book. I browsed through the library and could not find a book on the shelves for an author whose last name started with 'X', so I went to the librarian for help and after much searching on the computer she finally alighted upon this title and I took it to save her from spending any more time searching for me. As you can see I fudged a little and my 'X' is for the first name.

This is a collection of Kennedy's "best" work, all previously published; some from his prior collections of poetry and others from published anthologies of children's poems.  Divided into topical sections such as: "Eats", "Birds, Bees & Beasts" and "Peculiar Characters", these are all silly poems in the vein of Shel Silvertstein, Dennis Lee or Jack Prelutsky only Kennedy never really hits the mark and passes the smile stage into the giggling out loud nature of the other poets.  Silly poetry is really the only poetry I truly appreciate so I say with some confidence that Kennedy's work just doesn't reach the bar of other authors of this genre.  While I had a few smiles, mostly the poetry fell flat with me or just simply failed to amuse.  The illustrations on the other hand add some much needed whimsy to this collection and may make some poems funnier than they really are if you concentrate on the accompanying illustration.  Kennedy's other books have received good reviews, so your mileage may vary.


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