Poems about nail clippings, sausages, and page numbers?! Yes, and many more.
My Head Has a Bellyache and More Nonsense by Chris Harris, illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. Little, Brown and Company, 2023. 192 pages.
Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 10-12
Recommended For: Ages 10-12
This morning I offered my boys “Mom bucks” to see how many poems they could recite out of the many we’ve reviewed over the years. They each got a handful, or at least a couple, out of the collection in my binder.
What were they MOST eager to recite? Poems by Chris Harris. They’ve been stealing his new book off my desk before I had a chance to finish reading it for this review, and found a number of them to be just as much fun as I’m Just No Good At Rhyming.
It’s not easy to follow a masterpiece, but Harris has applied his poetic brilliance to a range of subject matter including lukewarm romance (perfect for middle grade readers), family relationships, nail clippings, playing with words, buffalo, sausages, nutrition, poetic forms and the life of a poet, snakes, home, …, lost things, and page numbers. Yes, he created an impressive poem with the page numbers.
Although some of the lines require a little practice to read smoothly, this is a poetry book that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Gender: One poem about thirty-nine girls includes five (possibly more) boys among the thirty-nine “girls” in the illustrations.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Worldview/Moral Rating: 3 out of 5
Literary/Artistic Rating: 4 out of 5
Read more about our ratings here.
Related Reading From Redeemed Reader:
A Review: I’m Just No Good At Rhyming by Chris Harris and Lane Smith
A Reflection: Gladys Hunt on Enjoying Poetry With Children
A Resource: More fun poetry resources in The Guaranteed, Irresistible, Effortless Introduction to Poetry for People Who Doubt That They Like It
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