Review of Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems

Hard-Boiled Bugs for Breakfast: And Other Tasty Poems
by Jack Prelutsky; illus. by Ruth Chan
Intermediate    Greenwillow    144 pp.    g
1/21    978-0-06-301913-3    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-301915-7    $9.99

Prelutsky fans specifically, and fans of humorous poetry generally, should find just what they’re looking for here: nonsense confidently delivered in lines that scan satisfyingly (“My dragon is mad at my ogre, / My ogre is mad at my gnome, / My gnome will not talk to my goblin. / It’s truly upsetting my home”), surrounded by Chan’s exuberantly cartooned black-and-white drawings. Along with imaginary creatures and the like, the poems cover familiar realistic kid-concerns such as homework, sibling conflict, and spinach — and if some are a little too familiar (see “I’ve Got a Cold”), guessing a predictable ending might feel like a victory for some readers. The collection includes a few different forms: a section of haiku from various animals’ points of view breaks up the silliness, and the cleverly rhymed concrete poem “Figure 8” had this reviewer-via-e-book barely refraining from turning her laptop upside down. Bon appétit!

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax
Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine, is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She is a current member of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award committee, and has served on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

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Stephanie O'Leary

I love Prelutzsky's sense of whimsy, and his gift for clever wordplay makes all his books a delight to read again and again. Looking forward to this new collection of poems!

Posted : Apr 15, 2021 06:51


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