Review of Ready for Spaghetti: Funny Poems for Funny Kids

Ready for Spaghetti: Funny Poems for Funny KidsReady for Spaghetti: Funny Poems for Funny Kids
by Michael Rosen; illus. by Polly Dunbar
Preschool    Candlewick    64 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-5362-2497-9    $18.99

This collection of poetry for the very young opens with a note to adults: children need to explore the sounds of language, and readers-aloud of these poems should feel free to “repeat things, or change things…or anything else.” The playful poems that follow lend themselves to experimentation. Arranged in order of a child’s day, Rosen’s poems are full of sound effects and not-quite-nonsense words (“Here come my floppy shoes / flip flap flappety flap / Here come my clippy shoes / trip trap trappety trap”). In Dunbar’s digitally finished ink and watercolor illustrations, assorted members of a preschool-aged friend-group march, dance, and spaghetti-slurp their way across the pages—often in vignettes, but even the full-bleed double-page spreads keep backgrounds spare enough to highlight the kids. Don’t be surprised if these poems’ easily memorized and malleable short lines (“Bibble, bobble, bubble / dibble dobble double… / You can’t catch the bubble, / The bubble can’t catch me”) become household refrains.

From the November/December 2022 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 has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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