I reviewed this for a graduate class on children's literature, and found it to be a fun read! My kindergartener loved it too! Award-winning poet Alice Schertle has come up with a generally delightful compilation of poems centered on the topic of clothing. The clothes are the central focus in this collection, and each poem is written from the particular clothes' point of view. The articles of clothing are worn by adorable little animals such as a galoshes-wearing pig, an underwear-wearing mouse, a pajama-clad alligator, a dog wearing a soccer jersey, and many more. Children will relate easily to these characters and the articles of clothing they are wearing as many of them wear these clothes in daily life and in a variety of activities. The illustrations by Petra Mathers are colorful and fun which further enhance the listening and reading experience.
The language used is also easily accessible to young children and what makes this collection of poems particularly appealing is the variety used in the verse. There are rhyming verses, e.g. "Jack does the running, I do the showing - number 6 coming, number 6 going" in Jack's Soccer Jersey. There are also many instances of free verse, e.g. "Ready, set, jump! Scrunch up small - Look out down below - in Wanda's Swimsuit. Mostly, this blend of free and rhyming verses work, but there are instances where it feels forced such as in Jamelia's Dress-Up Clothes which ends with a rather abrupt "Jamelia wears us all at one. We're her dress-up clothes."
Some of the verses have an infectious beat that encourages audience participation which is always a great feature to have in poetry especially in reading aloud sessions with young children. One of the best examples in this book would be the poem, The Song of Harvey's Galoshes which has features of assonance, e.g.
"Squash-galosh, squash-galosh, through the slime,
Squash-galosh, squash-galosh, bet a nickel, bet a dime."
`Emily shows us wherever she goes" in Emily's Undies will elicit giggles from many children who will recognize themselves in the precocious Emily the mouse, but the poems are not all laugh out loud funny. There is one poignant poem titled Tanya's Old T-Shirt which is the lament of an old, discarded t-shirt, bemoaning its fate as a rag. This is so reminiscent of childhood where children outgrow their clothes and will strike a chord with listeners. Children will love listening to and reading these poems about their favorite articles of clothing as represented by the diverse variety in this collection of poems.