CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 11 . . . .January 19, 2007
Tiffany Stone has assembled 32 rollickingly funny themed poems which range in length from four to 24 lines and that feature contemporary and historic animals and insects. While many of the poems' critters are bad in a variety of ways, the title refers specifically to some sheep that give us nightmares as opposed to lulling us to sleep. As readers or listeners, youngsters will meet such animals as clumsy tyrannosaur, a shark with halitosis, a zebra that's tired of wearing stripes every day, a skunk that's lost its stink, a "classy" dog that drinks from the toilet using a straw, plus giraffes that live in the city disguised as construction cranes. One of the animals isn't even a real animal. In "I'm Tired of Being a Teddy," a teddy bear indicates its boredom at being cuddled, carried about and being good, but admits "I'm too lazy to learn to be bad." The unexpected, plus plays on words, make for lots of fun reading.
Not every poem is told from the creature's perspective, and so in "My Cat Got into the Peanut Butter," readers meet a young cat owner who regrets teaching her/his cat how to open jars, not because the cat actually eats the peanut butter, but because it likes to make a mess. This cat is not the only mess-maker. In "When Pigs Make Pancakes," readers discover that the pigs' culinary skills are not utilized because they actually want to eat pancakes. Rather, they love the mess they can make, especially when its's slathered in syrup.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.