Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Manic energy slops over the rim of this comic verse collection by singer-songwriter Miller. Most of the 20-odd poems address evergreen childhood themes-the wielding of a colored marker to feign illness and avoid school ("I should be better by 3:25"), the bedtime resistance poem ("I'm not a baby any... SNORE"), and bodily effluvia ("You're building a smell/ That's designed to repel"). By contrast, several longer poems investigate family relationships with some nuance, like the ballad about the rebellion staged by a cowed baseball coach's son ("Today there's something different, though/ Joe's eyes are dad-defying"), and a boy's reflections on his famous rock star dad: "He's got a lot of fans and stuff/ But me, I am not one." Illustrations by Santat (After the Fall) fuel the fun: the purple-pox creator is seen in tight, fish-eye-style close-up, thermometer protruding from her mouth; the reluctant bed-goer is attached to a medieval-looking orthodontic appliance. Elsewhere, bubbles float up from bathtubs: "Eat some beans for dinner/ Make some bubbles for yourself!" Though the rhyme and meter clank in spots, hilarity runs high; classroom readalouds could become uproarious. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 1-5-This debut collection of subversive and wacky poems for kids is bursting with color and silly words. In the style of Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, poems range from kids' everyday experiences to nonsensical situations. Two poems, "Stinky-Mouth You" and "Rock Star Dad," seem to be derived from Miller's own family experience, but most address more common childhood experiences: angry Little League dads, not wanting to go to bed, and unfinished homework. Other poems like "This Bathtub's Too Small" and "The Wise Man" tell over-the-top tales. Each spread features a different poem while expressive artwork of the characters and scenes capture the mood, along with illustrated titles. For example, "My Device" uses a pixel font for the title and dark, muted lighting on two characters looking at their devices, their backs facing the reader. Some readers may find the lack of punctuation jarring, but the musicality of the loosely metered lines make this collection work best as a read-aloud. While all of the poems use end rhyme, some of the cleverest rhymes are internal: "I don't have a name for my potty karate" from "My Secret Karate" and "Nose hairs are gross hairs" and "Ear hairs are weird hairs" from "Hairs." VERDICT Overall, this collection with its pleasingly eccentric illustrations and sense of humor will be well received by many kids. Add to larger poetry collections.-Erica Ruscio, Madison Public Library, WI © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
Miller, lead singer/songwriter of the alt-country band Old 97s, knows how to grab an audiences attention. This collection of twenty-three kid-pleasing poems opens with My Secret Karate, which is set in a public bathroom stall: I stand on my left foot and raise my right leg / Using muscles in abs, thighs and tush / And with just the toe of my special blue sneaker / I make the toilet flush. In addition to karate-potty humor, the irreverent subjects hit familiar notes. The speaker in Purple Pox makes a case for staying home from school with a mysterious ailment (I should be better by 3:25). How to Play Baseball tells of a Little League pitchers triumph over his teams tyrannical coachhis dad. Weirdos of the World Unite! celebrates the idiosyncrasies that make every single one of us / a weirdo. With expressive caricatures and varied compositions, Santats boisterous illustrations amp up the absurdity and enhance the subversion. On the right-hand side of one double-page spread, the stanzas of My Device appear as a text-message conversation; the left shows two young people side by side, each separately engrossed in an electronic device. While Stinky-Mouth You (about the perils of touring with a bandmate whose mouth smell[s] like an old garbage can) wont resonate with everyone, and the Cain and Abellevel sibling rivalry in Brotherly Love may raise grownups eyebrows, the accompanying stylized cartoon art focuses on the humor. As celebrity forays into books for children go, No More Poems! is a solid offering, providing for readers an all-star lineup of mostly relatable, occasionally thought-provoking, and always entertaining reflections. kitty flynn March/April 2019 p 94(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Serious poetic fun.Dark humor abounds in Old 97's singer/songwriter Miller's first foray into light verse for children, where his zany poetic antics are deftly paired with the visually arresting mixed-media somersaults of Caldecott medalist Santat. Doubtless drawing on experiences from his day jobs as a rocker and father, Miller offers nearly two dozen rhymed "silly, subversive poems" aimed at capturing children at their scheming best and adults as less than perfect. The collection's opening poem, describing the young speaker's hidden talent for using a toe to flush the toilet, sets the irreverent tone: "I don't have a name for my potty karate / I might call it Tae Kwon Doo / Or maybe I'll say I'm a third degree black belt / In the top secret art of Kung Poo." Later, in "i want a dog," Santat employs full use of the double-page spread by depicting the speaker making her case ("I want a dog / I'll give you until my next birthday / If there's no dog by then I am RUNNING AWAY/ I'll go off and live in a bog") with the hilarious aid of a 55-slide presentation. Every facial expression displays his exceptional talent at visual characterization.Whether describing a nighttime trip to the bathroom or discouraging fratricide, Miller and Santat's fun, eminently contemporary collaboration will charm both kids and the adults reading with them. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.