In the very near future you will find yourself dining on Snow Flurry at the famous Weatherbee’s Diner. Everyone will be there—Bob and Bossy Casey, Medusa’s sister Sally, both of the Appleton Twins, and Mr. Andy Mandolin singing “Biscuits in the Wind.” Remember him? You will also meet Angus, visit the silly Soggy Circus, and as soon as the moon is out (unless there’s an eclipse), you may even glimpse a Tiny Baby Sphinx!
Until then, here’s what I recommend: listen for flamingos, write some haiku, then take a ride in a Barnacle Built for Two. Sound good to you?
Calef Brown began his career as a tour guide at an early age, when he discovered the simple joy of pointing things out. He is also an artist, writer, and frequently a blue elephant. Mr. Brown’s illustrations have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, and his paintings have been exhibited in N.Y., L.A., S.F., and other places without fancy initials, like Osaka and Rome. He lives in Maine.
Gr 3-6-These 29 nonsense poems, written in a variety of rhymed meters, are
deliciously loaded with alliterative and assonant sounds and filled with
delightful doggerel. Brown's playful verses are foolish ("Life is a dream/with
a nautical theme/in a barnacle built for two."); preposterous ("Light bulbs on
a birthday cake./What a difference that would make!"); exhilarating ("Boogie
to the banjo./Bop to the bongo./Freeze like an igloo./Stomp like a buffalo" in
the "Combo Tango"); and filled with wordplay ("Allicatter Gatorpillar/by and
by/my oh my!/Allibutter Gatorfly!"). The author's strong command of poetic
form and his way with words make creating nonsense rhyme look effortless.
Full-page, flat acrylic illustrations, most painted in harmonious jewel tones,
face single-toned pages of text in a variety of colors. The style is abstract
with a folk-art quality, often cartoonish, and always whimsical. The
characters have humorous, stylized features and varied skin tones, ranging
from pale blue to light green to burnt umber. Packed with amusing details, the
paintings consistently expand upon the text. Read aloud, these poems are sure
to delight listeners. They also provide a great impetus for inspiring
youngsters to write nonsense poetry of their own.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights
Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Brown (Polkabats and Octopus Slacks) angles for the Silverstein or Prelutsky
mantle in this collection of zany rhymes and funky folk-boho paintings. "I eat
my beans with lots of lard./ (The kind without the pork.)/ But here's the
rub-/ this tasty grub/ just slides right off my fork," says one fellow, a
monochrome study in stripes and swabs of denim blue, who recommends a ladle
for slippery legumes. In a comical family portrait, a smug party girl praises
her electrified birthday cake ("Plug it in and make a wish,/ then relax and
flip the switch!"), while her offended grandfather dismisses the new-fangled
gadget ("To get your wish without a doubt,/ you need to blow some candles
out!"). In his holiday-spoofing title piece, children swear they've heard
"flamingos on the roof" in December; other rhymes introduce "Allicattor
Gatorpillar" and "Medusa's sister Sally," notable for her "single lazy snake"
and for petrifying people with small talk. The acrylic paintings of wall-eyed
oddballs recall Maira Kalman's na ve portraits or flea-market trophies; in one
image, an enigmatically smiling, yellow-slicker-clad girl awaits a treat at
"Weatherbee's Diner" where "they cook up a storm" ("The thunder is wonderful,
order it loud,/ with sun-dried tornado on top of a cloud"). Brown's volume
constitutes an uneven variety show, unified by a hearty salute to
eccentricity. Ages 6-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"Brown's imaginative wordplay is matched by his acrylic paintings depicting people and places in unusual hues. . . . Silly it may be, but all the best kind, prompting the reader to see the world (slightly) askew and to delight in it." --Horn Book Horn Book
"Brown’s lively nonsense rhymes blend the mythic and the contemporary, as do his acrylic illustrations, part folk art, part postmodern. . . . Words and pictures manage to be both clear and weird, an enjoyable mix." ––Booklist Booklist, ALA
"Twenty-eight more flights of fancy from a rapidly improving nabob of nonsense. . . . Composed with a fine ear for consistent rhythms and silly wordplay, these verses will tempt readers into repeat visits." --Kirkus Kirkus Reviews
"A hearty salute to eccentricity." --Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly
"The author's strong command of poetic form and his way with words make creating nonsense rhyme look effortless...Read aloud, these poems are sure to delight listeners." 15MinutesMagazine.com