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Calling All Animals: The First Book of Punoetry (Punoetry, 1) Paperback – December 1, 2003
About the Author
Singer, song-writer, author, and humorist Jeff Nathan is the creator of PunOETRY(TM). Author of "Calling All Animals" and "There's a Hippo in My Locker", Mr. Nathan's poetry and music brings laughter everywhere it goes. He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and works and invests toward the improvement of children's literacy in the US.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
(Please note that the spacing and boldfaced and italicized contributions of PunOETRY are restricted to normal type here, and spacing is not as published.)
Crustaceans (Copyright 2003 by Chucklebooks Publishing, Inc.)
Crustaceans are an interesting breed; Some people think theyre swell fish.
But dont believe in everything you read I find them rather shellfish. (selfish) ----------------------------------------
Duck! (Copyright 2003 by Chucklebooks Publishing, Inc.)
Theyve been quacking so much about Mabels big flight How she soared like a jet in the stadiums light,
How she heard all the cheers as she tilted her wings And then twisted and curved out those spirally things.
She would weave in and out as she spun all her spins, Neatly outing her outs and then inning her ins.
She was painting the sky with her brush widely spread, Till that baseball flew into the side of her head.
Quickly plummeting down, Mabels fate appeared sealed, And they all feared the worst as she lay in right field.
But Im pleased to report that I did make it through, And despite all the talk I have this to tell you:
Theyve been quacking and honking all day about me, But the day wasnt all it was quacked up to be. (cracked)
---------------------------------------- A Clothes-minded Vacuum (Closed-minded) (Copyright 2003 by Chucklebooks Publishing, Inc.)
My mom has chores that she assigns. I do them perfectly. But I have found that vacuuming is not a chore for me.
I used to do it all the time, until that fateful day The vacuum cleaner acted in a most unfriendly way.
For, as I ran the vacuum, cleaning all the dust and dirt, The hose I held escaped me and it turned and got my shirt.
The vacuum sucked the shirt down then it took my new watch, too. And, next, it seemed quite focused on the thought of my left shoe.
Before I had the chance to run, my precious shoe was gone. And then the vacuum snuck up on the shoe I still had on.
To save my things from leaving me, I had to jump and dance. But, soon, the hose it tricked me and it pulled away my pants.
Now stranded in my underwear, I started fighting back I couldnt be left naked from this horrible attack.
I wrestled firmly with the hose and got it to the ground. I clenched my teeth and grunted as I got it turned around.
What happened next was definitely something very weird: The vacuum swallowed up itself and simply disappeared.
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Literacy is an important skill that is not as widespread as it should be. Children today, through advances in technology, have access to all areas of knowledge. This also has one major drawback, a downturn in the quality of children's literacy skills.
To get children to participate fully in their education it needs to be fun. Having fun allows young minds to explore their learning experience to the fullest. "Calling All Animals - The First Book of PunOETRY", allows them to do this.
My three favorite punoems in the book are:
Animal Food - (page 8), dealing with cattage cheese, mice cream and macrowni,
Sister Cat - (page 38), tells of hisstory and purrpose and
Raining Cats and Dogs - (page 46), which deals with Poodles on the ground and the barometric Cheshire heading down.
Each one has a great variety of puns and different spellings, highlighted in bold letters. The correct spellings are placed in parentheses on the right hand side of the page. Each punoems has a delightful illustration that comes with a unique twist.
The twist is twofold; each illustration has two additional characters in it. One is named Chucklebug, a happy little flying insect, who hovers around the main character. The other is called Chuckleslug, a slug who likes to play hide and seek. What the young reader must do is locate where Chuckleslug is hiding in all the illustrations. This enhances the fun and keeps the interest level high.
What Jeff Nathan and Liz Ball have created is a new approach to literacy. The rhythm of the punoems is matched by the illustrations. They show in finite terms that the study of language can be fun.
All too often education takes the approach that learning to read and write is a chore that must be endured. This reflects in their teaching and turns off those recipients who need to master these essential skills. Children need to enjoy their education, not have facts and rules crammed into them.
Joy in learning leads to self-development that may not otherwise have occurred. "Calling All Animals - The First Book of PunOETRY", allows children to seek out the joys of literacy for themselves. It is an experience they will always remember and forever reap the rewards.
This is one book that is destined to change children's literacy for the better. It is a book that I highly recommend to parents and teachers alike.