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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.