Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Prelutsky (The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders) packs a school-day's worth of adventure and mayhem into this collection of light verse. The poems unfold as journal entries by an overalls-clad tabby, which also serve to answer Mom's inquiry about his day. (An illustration opposite the table of contents sets up this premise.) The school-age set will recognize the oft-discussed topics: food fights, field trips and the embarrassing passing of gas during class, among others. The author metes out doses of humor over the course of the 17 poems. In "I Wish I'd Studied Harrder," the laughs lie in the intentional misspellings ("I tried to spell Cunneddykit,/ But really I just gessed.../ If I had stoodied harder/ Then I mite have passed this test"), and "A Man Named Mister Hoobybatch" recounts an author visit: "He's giving recitations/ From his stories in the gym./ He's written many children's books-/ We've never heard of him." (The frog poet in the spread also appears above the author bio.) Some observations may escape younger readers (e.g., Prelutsky pokes good-natured fun at "Show-And-Tell," as each student parrots, "I like my plant,... hamsters,... tying knots a lot"). Cushman's (the Aunt Eater series) playful cartoon artwork of the all-animal cast may garner knowing smiles from adults, too: a lion teaching fractions bears a striking resemblance to Einstein, while the illustration for "I Have to a Write a Poem for Class" features a raven squawking, "Nevermore." Ages 5-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 3-Cushman has interpreted Prelutsky's school-aged protagonist as a cat. The feline's journal contains 17 poems about everyday joys and predicaments: the ups and (mostly) downs of completing homework and assignments, overloaded backpacks, the sweet sounds of music class, invigorating author visits, gym partners, and cafeteria food fights. Lively and fun, with perfect meter and an abundance of interesting word choices, these poems beg to be read aloud. And they will be. Cushman has created an appealing school environment with a variety of colorful cartoon animal characters that are happily compatible with Prelutsky's silly and energetic verse. Of particular fun is the math teacher, a lion who bears more than a vague resemblance to a famous mathematician in his E=mC sweatshirt. In addition to being a popular choice for poetry-loving young readers, this school-themed collection is certain to make continual rounds among early elementary teachers for use in the classroom.-Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
K-Gr. 3. Prelutsky brings his sly, slapstick verse to the classroom in this picture-book collection of school poems. Some of the selections are pure fantasy, such as the poem about a science experiment gone totally berserk. Other, more realistic poems capture a young student's worries (homework, gym class) and earnest excitement. There are gleeful selections sure to provoke instantaneous giggles: I Made a Noise This Morning, about farting in class, ends with the speaker's sheepish pride in his little work of art. Prelutsky plays for more laughs by leaving gaps between the words, and the bouncy rhythms in the rhyming couplets extend the playful mood. Kids will see themselves in Cushman's bright cartoon illustrations featuring a young cat in overalls and other animal elementary students, and the active scenes extend the jokes and images in the words. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2006 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Primary) Any child who attends school will probably relate to at least some of the events described in these seventeen poems. The narrator attends a multi-species school -- he's a cat, and his class includes a pig, a fox, a beaver, and a raccoon. In Prelutsky's usual light, breezy style, he declaims the woes of the overloaded backpack and of doing fractions, the experience of making the noise that is at once embarrassing and a source of pride, and the enjoyable parts of school such as author visits and field trips. The poems are silly fun with some clever twists, as in the poem ""In the Cafeteria,"" which redefines the term food chain. Cushman's acrylic paintings show the animals in contemporary school clothes, and their faces convey and amplify the emotions in the poems, whether it's fear, annoyance, or hilarity. However, the book overall looks like it's for preschoolers -- which may prevent the heavy-backpack-toting crowd that struggles with fractions from picking it up. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
One would expect that Prelutsky's poems about school would be rambunctious, warm, silly and laugh-out-loud funny, and this new collection does not disappoint. Brimming with gleeful humor, the poems hit on topics that will be familiar to all students, from the heft of heavy backpacks, the ups and downs of being a teacher's pet and the excitement of field trips, to the frustration of homework, the perils of not studying and the joy of accomplishment and success. Descriptions of various subjects--math, science, spelling, writing, history, art, music, library and gym--are all here too, full of wit, observation and hilarious commentary. Cushman's lively watercolor depictions of various felines, rodents and other small mammals, all with appropriately droll, pensive and jovial expressions, perfectly complement the text and add to the fun. Reluctant readers and poetry lovers alike will find plenty to laugh at and identify with here, and there is never an awkward line or a sour note--although in one poem, there is a rather unfortunate smell. (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.