Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Douglas Florian
Poetry Book
For ages 6 to 8
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2008   ISBN: 978-0152061487

Sometimes people just need something that will make them smile or laugh. They need to watch that video showing a cat jumping in and out of a box, or they can pick up a book just like this one. For this title Douglas Florian has written over a hundred short poems. They have nothing really in common other than the fact that they are funny and quirky.

   In the book you will encounter a sofa that is unsafe because there is something under it that has teeth that are green and “gruesome.” This monster, for that is what it surely is, has eaten the narrator’s homework. And his sisters. Not surprisingly, the narrator decides that he will “sit on the CHAIR.”

   In another poem we are told what witches wish for. Unlike you or me, they have no interest in sunny beach vacations, a new cell phone, or a puppy. Dear me no. Witches wish for things like “Rusty Nails” and “Dragon Tails.” They want horrible weather and nasty things like vampire blood and poison ivy. What makes this so much worse is that “Witches always / Get their wishes.”

   Witches with nasty wishes are not the only unpleasant creatures you will encounter in this book. You will also meet Dracula who drives a “Cadillacula” and likes to “drink blood for a snackula.” Being attacked by him is terrible of course, but what is particularly upsetting is that, as he says, “Tomorrow I’ll be backula!”

   Throughout this book the poems are paired with brush and ink drawings that perfectly capture the flavor of goofiness that infuses the book. For those down-in-the-dump days (and any other kind of day) this book is a perfect fit.