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World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of Hardcover – March 12, 2013
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Lewis, the current Children’s Poet Laureate, offers up 22 short poems, all but 3 of which are original. Each commemorates a holiday that apparently truly exists, although you’ve likely never heard of it. (Some back matter would have been helpful.) From January’s Dragon Appreciation Day to Chocolate-Covered Anything Day in December, Lewis offers musings such as Never blow on your soup. That only makes it hotter and instructions for eating chocolate-covered ants. Those who annually circle Cow Appreciation Day or Ohio Sheep Day on their calendars will welcome this literary recognition, but even those who don’t keep Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day holy will enjoy the poems as witty nonsense. Highly amusing anthropomorphized creatures rendered in ink lines and washes celebrate on white single- or double-page spreads, and sometimes there are pretty practical curriculum connections, such as Limerick Day (May 12) and International Cephalopod Awareness Day (October 8). Happy reading and a happy Yell ‘Fudge!’ at the Cobras in North America Day to all! Grades K-3. --Andrew Medlar
Raff’s loose washes with ink details exude personality and humor...in this gleefully silly crowd-pleaser.
Funny from start to finish, these superbly crafted poems and inventive illustrations celebrate the extraordinary, odd, and seldom heard of holidays that the elementary-school crowd will love. Raff’s intelligent artwork adds to the lighthearted play with many surprises...The entire book is such fun that children will will want to shout, “It’s J. Patrick Lewis Day!”
—School Library Journal
Those who annually circle “Cow Appreciation Day” or “Ohio Sheep Day” on their calendars will welcome this literary recognition, but even those who don’t keep “Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day” holy will enjoy the poems as witty nonsense. Highly amusing anthropomorphized creatures rendered in ink lines and washes celebrate on white single- or double-page spreads, and sometimes there are pretty practical curriculum connections, such as “Limerick Day” (May 12) and “International Cephalopod Awareness Day” (October 8). Happy reading and a happy “Yell ‘Fudge!’ at the Cobras in North America Day” to all!
The poems are lots of fun to read aloud, with twists and turns, rhyme and rhythm, and form variations from couplets, to concrete, to verse and limerick with inner rhymes and invented words. Lewis’ poems are delightful...
—Library Media Connection
The Children’s Poet Laureate takes a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the weird and wacky holidays that never quite make it onto commercially printed calendars.
Obscure but entertaining holidays get their own poem, each one funny, playful, and even instructive...Raff’s ink washes and drawings feature animals with lots of personality.
—The Horn Book
Unofficial as the holidays may be, they’ll provide plenty of curricular occasions and some goofy reading aloud, and kids may leap on the notion of creating and celebrating their own invented holidays.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
With its fun, puns, whimsical animal watercolors and general goofiness, this hilarious work recalls Shel Silverstein.
—New York Post
These 26 selections ... will tickle the funny bones of even those who are poem-phobic. Coupling the words of Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis with the loosely composed cartoons of Anna Raff ramps up the fun. Everywhere you look, there’s one more raffish rat doing nonsensical (and occasionally naughty) things.
—The Washington Post
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"No one will ever forget Ewe" on Ohio Sheep Day (July 14). No mata mata how hard we try on World Turtle Day (May 23).
These two holidays are just a taste of the wild and wacky - and real - holidays you should be celebrating."
Why I liked this book - When I first heard about this book, I thought I would really love it... And I DID!!! This was an awesome book! The poems are top-notch, and the illustrations are awesome too! I love everything about it especially that the wacky poems are based on REAL holidays! This is a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month! J. Patrick Lewis is an AWESOME poet! And the fact that he's Poet Laureate is even better! I also like that the rats show up on all the pages in the book no matter what the holiday is. I think all kids and adults will LOVE this book!
If you don't have that particular book on your shelf, then perhaps you've got one of Lewis's other 80-plus books! Lewis's various titles have been released by more than a dozen major publishing houses. In 2011, the Poetry Foundation named Lewis its third U.S. Children's Poet Laureate. In other words: You're placing yourself in masterful hands when you buy, enjoy--or give away one of his books.
This year, Lewis is back with a fanciful volume that grabs hold of the calendar -- specifically the holidays that chart our progress through the year -- and encourages his readers to think fancifully about the way we mark time. He calls it: World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of.
Given his career-long fascination with the natural world, most of the holidays he marks with playful poems and colorful illustrations by Anna Raff have to do with living creatures. His style of poetry toys with words, with the shape of his lines on the page -- providing lots of fun for young readers and their parents. Envision a cross between Lewis Caroll, ee cummings and Ogden Nash.
Lewis claims that all of the holidays in his new book are real, although you'll have to look far and wide to find the groups that "officially declared" some of these holidays. And, no, this book does not include a page of web links or other information about these festivals that he and Raff celebrate. But that's hardly the point.
The real point is seeing our planet in a new way--and remembering the living creatures that make it such a marvelous place in which to live.
Lewis's shortest poem is just six words in a single line for the mid-summer Ohio Sheep Day: "No one will ever forget Ewe."
And, if you welcome this book into your home, your children will never forget your gift.