Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

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Alan Katz
Illustrator:  Edward Koren 
Poetry Book
For ages 7 to 9
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416902041

Many people seriously underrate the value of giggles, chuckles, and laughter. Humor is therapeutic, and silliness is necessary. Sometimes life isn’t very good about providing us with things that are amusing, but luckily there are some people out there who have a beautifully developed sense of humor, and they find ways to share it with us.

Alan Katz is just such a person, and in this collection of poems he takes young readers on wonderful humor-filled poetry journey. In the poems we meet children doing the kinds of things that children do. There is “His Royal Sloppiness” who leaves dirty fingerprints and smudges wherever he goes. Later on in the book we meet the boy whose father says that his son’s behavior is giving him gray hair. The boy is rather confused by this because from what he can see he is making his poor father bald and not gray-haired.

The author also captures those wonderful moments from childhood that are both funny and sweet. For example there is the boy who tells his mother that he has superpowers. He can “jump fifty feet in the air” and “save the world with a wave of my hand.” The thing is that before he can do all these splendid things he needs his mother to “please tie my shoe.”

Another child feels like a “boob” because she decided to show her little sister how toothpaste is put in the tube. Her little sister squeezes the tube so much that the older girl has no idea “how to get the toothpaste in again.”

Children are going to love this wonderful collection of poems, which explore the everyday kind of adventures and mishaps that children have. The poems also look at just some of the peculiar questions that children ask, and readers will have a hard time holding in the guffaws and chortles and when they see the answers.

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