From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 2-6–Dahl wrote many delightful poems, some of which are hidden in his splendid novels. This dynamic collection includes The Centipede's Song from James and the Giant Peach and Willy Wonka's Wonka-Vite from Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. The verses are illustrated by an assortment of talented artists, including Chris Wormell, Chris Riddell, Babette Cole, and Tony Ross. Quentin Blake's signature line drawings introduce each thematic section. Playful lines like Veruca Salt, the little brute,/Has just gone down the rubbish chute (Concerning Veruca Salt) and We may see a Creature with forty-nine heads/Who lives in the desolate snow,/And whenever he catches a cold (which he dreads)/He has forty-nine noses to blow (There's No Knowing What We Shall See) are irresistible. Unfortunately, no biographical information is provided for the illustrators. An index lists the titles of the poems under their sources along with their page numbers but no index of first lines is included. This vivacious addition to poetry collections will amuse a broad audience.–Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA
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Gr. 5-8. The title is well chosen, and Dahl's particularly viperish, not to say ghoulish, rhymes are full of ill-humor and occasionally delicious nasties. A few of these have never been published before, but most are familiar, made new by a gaggle of well-known illustrators (Lane Smith, Babette Cole, Satoshi Kitamura, William Joyce). The foreword and the images that introduce each section are by the delicious Quentin Blake, and they are very funny. This is a hard collection to take all at once: Augustus Gloop and Veruca Salt get what they deserve, to be sure, but Dahl is vitriolic about Goldilocks. The tone of the witches ("Down Vith Children!") is a little scary, and the sinister sibilance of the Grobes matches what may happen. There's a fair amount of potty humor--but that's typical Dahl. Like the recent D Is for Dahl by Wendy Cooling (2005), this is another way to repackage Dahl. GraceAnne DeCandido
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