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Underwear Salesman Hardcover – March 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this handy guide/ (For children overqualified/ For boring jobs), Lewis (Doodle Dandies) and the sublime Bloch (Butterflies in My Stomach) catalogue some of the more esoteric professions. There's the crossword puzzle maker (I make up clues for/ 'Olive' (green), / 'Lentil or garbanzo' (bean) and the titular specialty haberdasher (You wear them briefly/ And in short,/ I sell them chiefly/ For support); the center spread salutes the marathon runner with a poem set into the map of a course. Lewis deserves applause for his sophisticated wordplay and his willingness to push readers in terms of poetic conceits: anyone who attempts to explain to kids what a philosopher does—in verse, no less—deserves a paean himself. It's a shame, then, that poems that start out so promisingly often run out of steam and wrap up with weak jokes (a pet groomer bemoans a customer who forgets toupee; a plumber works in Inside The Twoilet zone). Bloch's wonderful digital collages save the day: his signature combination of piquant ink doodles and witty found objects lends elegant playfulness to every page. Ages 7–10. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Puns are everywhere in this playful, rhyming survey of jobs, and the collage illustrations extend the verbal fun with wry, literal images, from the butcher named Sloppy Joe to an underwear salesman, whose sales pitch includes instructions to wear his garments “briefly.” The sounds of the words will appeal to grade-schoolers, and so will the visuals, from the double-page spread of the marathon runner in the city streets (“Motivation / Perspiration / Long duration”) to the view of the subway driver as “a sixty-mile-an-hour mole” who worms his way underground. Then there is the fancy gymnast who tries for a triple-handspring somersault and ends up “very horizontal.” Kids will get the message that comes from these scenes of adults at work: grown-up life is fun, sometimes, but there is “no need to hurry” to get there. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689853254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689853258
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,394,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After nearly three decades as a professor of economics, J. Patrick Lewis turned to poetry. He is the author of more than 75 children's books including A Hippopotamusn't (1990), BoshBlobberBosh (1998), Please Bury Me in the Library (2004), First Dog (2009), Spot the Plot (2009), and The House (2009).

He has recently been named the third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate (2011-2013) by the Poetry Foundation.

His books have been published by Creative Editions, Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt, Little, Brown, National Geographic, Chronicle Books, Scholastic, Candlewick, Schwartz & Wade, Holiday House, Sleeping Bear Press, Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press, Dawn Publications, and others. Gulls Hold Up the Sky, his first book of adult poems, was published by Laughing Fire Press (2010).

Pat's children's poems have also appeared in CRICKET (26 times), SPIDER, LADYBUG, CICADA, ODYSSEY, RANGER RICK, HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, Ms. Magazine, YOUR BIG BACKYARD, CREATIVE CLASSROOM, STORYTIME, STORYWORKS, CHICKADEE, AHOY, LANGUAGE ARTS, JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, BOOKBIRD, READING TODAY and over 100 anthologies. He wrote the 1992 National Children's Book Week poem, printed on one million bookmarks and distributed nationally.

Lewis has received numerous awards from the American Library Association, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and others. He was the recipient of the 2010-11 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Excellence in Children's Poetry Award, presented every two years.

WHERE I'LL BE NEXT--Schools, Bookstores, Conferences

October 14-16, 2011 Poetry Foundation--TED Lecture Chicago, Illiniois
October 23-25, 2011 NY State Reading Assn. Rye Brook, New York
October 28-31, 2011 Keystone State Reading Assn. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
November 5, 2011 Buckeye Book Fair Wooster, Ohio
November 8, 2011 Ashland University Ashland, Ohio
November 15-16, 2011 St. Joseph's College Rensselaer, Indiana
November 17-20, 2011 NCTE Convention Chicago, Illinois
December 1, 2010 Hillview Elementary Newark, Ohio
December 8, 2011 West Chester University (Dan Darigan) West Chester, PA
January 18, 2012 Richard Avenue Elementary Grove City, Ohio
January 24, 2012 Fouse Elementary Westerville, Ohio
March 1-3, 2012 Charlotte Huck Ch. Lit. Conference Redlands, California
April 3-5, 2012 Holland Hall Primary Tulsa, Oklahoma
April 12, 2012 Washington-Centerville Public Library Centerville, Ohio
April 13, 2012 Stingley Elementary Centerville, Ohio
April 17-25, 2012 Anglo-American School Moscow, Russia
April 29-May 2, 2012 IRA Convention Chicago, Illinois
May 10, 2012 Wynford Elementary Bucyrus, Ohio
March 22, 2013 OCTELA Conference Columbus, Ohio

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
While children are often asked what they would like to do when they grow up, the answer may not come as easily as the question. The possibilities seem endless and the time so far away. What better than a light-hearted book of poetry to help children start thinking about a wide range of occupations, from the relatively well-known -- such as plumbers, fashion designers, and librarians -- to the fairly obscure -- including belly dancers, skyscraper window washers, and yes, even underwear salespersons.

This wonderfully creative book stands apart from other books about jobs not only because the ideas are completely communicated through verse, but also because the art work embraces the poetry in an entirely different way on every page. The Underwear Salesman gets high marks for using humor and rich artistic content to tell children about some of the jobs that may await them in the future.
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By Thomas on April 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It seems to me that books for children should be written and illustrated by children, and I wanted a book that would look like that. This comes close.
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