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Something Big Has Been Here Hardcover – September 8, 1990

4.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this delightful companion to Jack Prelutsky's The New Kid on the Block, an early worm frightens the early bird, four vain and ancient tortoises race to see who can get to the finish line last, and outrageous imaginary characters such as the "Know-Nothing Neebies" ("We're perfectly pompous, / indelibly dense, / we haven't a trace / of a semblance of sense") pop up as magically as any creature from The Phantom Tollbooth or The Wizard of Oz ever did.

In "Captain Conniption," young readers will giggle to meet the self-professed "scourge of the sea." "I'm Captain Conniption, / and up to no good, / you'll soon walk the plank / if I think that you should, / I'd show you right now / how I vanquish a foe, / but I hear my mother, / so I have to go." Other subjects near and dear to children's hearts make fabulous fodder for fun, including sibling rivalry, bad table manners, meatloaf, and bats. Illustrator James Stevenson's lively line drawings capture Prelutsky's goofy poetic antics perfectly, making this collection another essential addition to any child's library. (Ages 4 to 12)

From Publishers Weekly

If this anthology of light verse and black-and-white drawings from Prelutsky and Stevenson were a movie, it would be titled The New Kid on the Block Part II. In format, subject matter and tone, fans of the earlier volumes will rejoice in finding more of the same. These are not poems to savor for their metaphoric language or depth of thought, but are instead frivolous, rib-tickling verses about the "Ghost Who's Lost His Boo," about "Rhododendra Rosenbloom" who buys perfume from a "ten scent store," or about the "Fearless Flying Hotdogs" who are "mustered in formation / to climb, to dip, to dive." Prelutsky's comic monologues focus on such topics as "I am Tired of Being Little" or "I'm Sorry! for being a brat," or the irresistible declaration of love, "Warteena Weere Just Bit My Ear." From Twickles and Moodles to the making of Grasshopper Gumbo, the emphasis is on the preposterous. Stevenson's waggish drawings provide half the fun in this comic collection that skips lightly on the mind and tongue. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 5th edition (September 8, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688064345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688064341
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This collection of Jack Prelutsky's silly and goofy poems is a must-have in any self-respecting poetry collection. The subjects of the poems range from mask-wearing earthworms to a room-trashing robot; from wishes to be bigger, to fishing in the desert. Children will laugh at the fearsome pirate "Captain Conniption," terror of the seas, who always obeys his mother. Many will sympathize with the longing of the boy in "My Brother is a Quarterback" who yearns to be a great athlete like his brother is.
"I Wave Goodbye When Butter Flies" is an excellent example of the oddities of the English language. The poem turns such common phrases as "pocket change" and "coffee break" on their ears and makes them into something new. There are subtle puns on condiments in "We're Fearless Flying Hotdogs" (can you find the one for saurkraut?). The emptyheadedly happy expressions on the five flying franks make the whole idea even funnier.
James Stevenson's line drawings accentuate the levity and absurdity of the poems. His artwork for "An Elephant is Hard to Hide" demonstrates even better than words the impossibility of stuffing an elephant into a dresser drawer. The expression of glee on the face of the boy reveling in "Mold, Mold" is identical to expressions seen in mud puddley schoolyards.
This volume is a treasure for both children and adults. It's a great way to spend some time laughing with a child (or by yourself).
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By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
We have enjoyed this book for several years. My second grader and my fourth grader have both memorized at least 1/3 of the poems. They have both taken up writing poetry now because they realized it can be so much fun. This book is a must have for any young family. The only reason I did not give it a complete 5 stars was that, while cute, the illustrations are not spectacular.
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Format: Hardcover
My eight yr. old loves Jack Prelutsky's poems (she has three of his books) but it is also a book that both of us enjoy reading. The poems are very funny and the words he uses are wonderfully descriptive and have expanded her vocabulary. We both highly recommend this book and others by Jack Prelutsky.
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By A Customer on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jack Prelutsky is far and away the best poet for kids. Hisverse is full of the joy of life and a chuckle or two, as well as hissignature multisyllabic vocabulary, and it's all wonderful to read aloud. Keep a copy in the car for the kids to read while you drive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book. The poems are very clever, funny and appealing to kids, along the lines of Shel Silverstein. The difference is the very sophisticated vocabulary that Prelutsky uses. I use a poem per week from this book for my remedial middle school students for oral reading fluency, plus I create our weekly vocabulary word list from words from the weekly poem.
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Format: Hardcover
I ADORE this book. I've been reading and re-reading it since I was in middle school and still get a kick out of the bizarre, witty and hilarious poems and the great variety in the vocabulary. It's one of my "happy books" I read when I'm depressed. Prelutsky is a genius when it comes to poetry for kids (and the young-at-heart!). Get this book, if you have any sense of humor or the absurd you'll love it.
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book when I was about 10 years old (I'm now 22.) Though I haven't even laid eyes on this book in at least 6 or 7 years, I can still recite by memory several of the poems, including "Something Big Has Been Here", "The Early Worm" and "I Wave Goodbye When Butter Flies."

As a child I loved poems, but often felt Shel Silverstein's were too morbid (especially some of the drawings.) Though I'm a huge fan of his now, at the time Something Big Has Been Here was a wonderful, more mellow book of poems that really got me loving cleverly written poems.

The best thing about the book, in my opinion, is that even though it's written for children, it never talks down to them or oversimplifies emotions or actions. And it's funny enough that even adults can get a snicker or two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prelutsky is my 8-year-old grandson's favorite author/poet. We have had so much fun reading to each other from his books...especially at bedtime when 'my boy' is snuggled up in his bed. We each pick a random poem and giggle until "lights out."
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