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A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shout Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing and Shout + A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems + A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Library Binding edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763606634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763606633
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 10.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. As the in-your-face title implies, the poems in Janeczko and Raschka's collection (following their A Kick in the Head) are not complacent, although plenty are funny and some are familiar, like the irresistible Jabberwocky and the singsong chanting of Macbeth's witches. Punchy collages flutter across airy white pages in loose visual arrangements; torn scraps of origami paper layer with fluid lines in tart color. Janeczko introduces the collection with the idea that Poetry is sound, a pleasure to vocalize and memorize. If you've never read a poem to somebody, you don't know what you're missing, he promises, and ebullient choices like Avis Hartley's Come, drum! Sound out the day! reinforce his exhortation. All the pieces have an edge, from Janet S. Wong's uncomfortable Speak Up—whose American speaker wants an Asian American to say something Korean—to Charles Follen Adams's An Orthographic Lament, reflecting that unusual spellings are enough to make a person commit Sioux-eye-sighed. Two poems from bilingual authors appear side-by-side in English/Spanish comparisons. By the time the volume closes with Whitman's I Hear America Singing, readers will be emboldened to join in the song. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–6—Following explorations of poetry as in A Poke in the I (2001) and A Kick in the Head (2005, both Candlewick), this title encourages readers and listeners to investigate poetry as sound. The 38 selections are all great read-alouds and range from old favorites like Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" and A. A. Milne's "Us Two" to new discoveries like George Ella Lyon's "Favorite" and Charles R. Smith, Jr.'s "Where It Began." Skillfully chosen, the poems cover a thought-provoking array of topics weaving seamlessly from silly to solemn to spooky. The table of contents is arranged into poems for one voice, tongue-twisters, two voices, list poems, three voices, short poems, bilingual poems, rhymed poems, limericks, and group poems. The spot illustrations done in bright but soft watercolors, ink, and torn paper beautifully enhance each piece without ever overpowering. With much to offer for both classroom use and pleasure reading, this delightful addition to the series should be a first purchase.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By W. Sellers on April 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We recently got this book and began to read it to our 3 year old daughter - who loves poetry. While the collection had some well known classics with colorful, child-friendly illustrations by Chris Raschka, we were dismayed by several of the selections. One poem made light of suicide in a (I'm sure the poet thought witty wordplay) poem which questioned "sioux-eye-side". Another poem described a Latin American country's revolution (somewhat violent) with a background rendered in swaths of red paint.

I feel that the editor/selector of these poems didn't think through the theme well - "Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout" tends to suggest young children are the audience. Unfortunately, several of the choices were not suitable (in my opinion - I've got a Masters Degree in Elementary Education) for a young audience, and we put the book away without finishing it - and will be returning it.

Parents, be cautioned in young children are the audience.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Paul A. Janeczko (ed.), A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout (Candlewick, 2009)

Clever collection of poetry for kids that demands to be read aloud, from Lewis Caroll to Walt Whitman and covering a great deal of ground in between. Publishers' Weekly noted that "all the pieces have an edge", and I've read a review or two that cautions that some of these pieces are not suitable for younger audiences. I disagree with that assessment in the same way I disagree with any sheltering of kids, but in the end, it's all opinion and it's up to the individual parent to decide whether any piece of writing is appropriate for his or her child (and when that piece would become appropriate were one to judge in the negative). If these are things you think about, I'd suggest grabbing a copy from your local library and reading it through yourself. Probably not a bad idea anyway; too many adults read too little poetry, and whatever the age range this book targets, these poems are just as fun for adults as they are for kids (and I don't think anyone would ever refer to Whitman or Shakespeare as a guy who wrote exclusively for the kiddies anyway). Worth a look one way or the other. *** ˝
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