Tuesday, March 26, 2013

World Rat Day

Horn Book (March/April, 2013)

You may not have been aware that April 10 is Firefly Day, but now that you are, you can celebrate by reading "A Thousand Baby Stars": "How could I ever catch them all / As they were getting ready / To fire up a festival? / ELECTRIFIED CONFETTI." Twenty-one additional obscure but entertaining holidays get their own poem, each one funny, playful, and even instructive, as in "Eight Table Manners for Dragons": "Don't talk with people in your mouth." (The holiday? Dragon Appreciation Day.) Raff's ink washes and drawings feature animals with lots of personality, like the worms who look very worried when advised to "stay away from / The Robin 'hood," while a pair of realistically enormous robins dig their bills into the ground above their heads. The poems vary in length and style, with a concrete poem in the shape of a flamingo for Pink Flamingo Day, and five limericks in honor of May 12, Limerick Day. Children may find themselves inspired to discover (or invent) their own quirky holidays and write some quirky poems, too. susan dove lempke

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