From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 4-8–Grandits combines technical brilliance and goofy good humor to provide an accessible, fun-filled collection of poems, dramatically brought to life through a brilliant book design. The eye-catching title selection, an account of a science experiment gone astray, appears on the front cover and its messy aftermath, a squashed tomato, winds up on the back. Simple drawings, varied typefaces, unusual arrangements of text, and different colors are used to call attention to the words. Grandits crafts an 11-year-old protagonist, Robert, whose perspective throughout is authentically adolescent. He is both immature and intelligent, and delights in all things gross as can be seen in such offerings as "The Autobiography of Murray the Fart," "Spew Machine," and "Sick Day." "TyrannosaurBus Rex" features a predatory cartoon school bus munching its way along its route: "More children. More sacrifices./Yum." This book doesn't reach the masterful collaboration of Paul B. Janeczko and Chris Raschka's A Poke in the I
(Candlewick, 2001), but most readers will still love it.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
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Gr. 4-6. Grandits stretches the definition of concrete poetry in this collection, which uses inventive shapes and typefaces to hilarious effect. Each selection is loosely tied to Robert, a kid with ordinary concerns: homework is boring; he would like a new pet; he is crushed when he misses his lay-up in basketball. But Grandits finds wild humor in such things, and the resulting poems will make most kids howl with recognition. There's the pious thank-you letter to an aunt that comes with truthful footnotes: "In the history of sweaters, there has never been an uglier waste of yarn." Then there's the arc of text describing Robert's rocket, constructed from his sister's algebra homework, which showers numbers and mathematical symbols as the explosion hits. "The Autobiography of Murray the Fart," written in lines that flow from a soda can-shaped block to a thin line that turns into intestinelike loops, will, like the other selections in this winning, highly creative collection, convince readers that poetry can be loud, outrageous, gross fun. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved