Outside the box

Karma Wilson

Book - 2014

A collection of over one hundred poems includes such amusing entries as "Balloonaphobia" and "Aliens Under My Bed."

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j811/Wilson Checked In
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books c2014.
Main Author
Karma Wilson (-)
Other Authors
Diane Goode (-)
Item Description
Includes indexes.
Physical Description
172 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Familiar objects and situations are given a sideways tweak in more than 100 illustrated poems that subvert expectations. A kid rats out a classmate for being a tattletale; the scary alien under the bed turns out to be a moldy sandwich; and in a long poem that recalls the old lady who swallowed the fly, a boy wears his coat upside down, walks on his hands, sits on his head, and eats from his shoe. That kid is way outside the box! Goode's ink-and-brush illustrations, full of swooping lines and flippy flourishes, are energetic and graceful at the same time. The art picks up the punch line of funny poems, amplifying the humor to laugh-out-loud levels, but for poems about the moon, dreams, or sunrise, the illustrations are ornate and lovely. Wilson dedicates the book to Shel Silverstein, and indeed the black-and-white illustrations and mixture of wry observation and kooky supposition recall Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) and Falling Up (1996).--Willey, Paula Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Blending typographical and illustrated whimsy with lighthearted reflections on life's quandaries, funny moments, and small disappointments, Wilson and Goode offer a well-rounded collection of more than 100 poems that touch on everything from creativity and luck to animals, siblings, and holidays. The narrator of "My Pet Robot" stares glumly at her creation (a hybrid vacuum cleaner/TV set, by the looks of it): "I realize now/ that Robot's done..../ Building him/ was all the fun." Elsewhere, a boy reflects on the duality of oatmeal ("As mooshy, gooshy, squishy goo?/ It's awful stuff to eat./ As crunchy, munchy cookie bliss?/ Oatmeal's a wonderful treat") and a girl shouts her head off as she's about to be devoured by a monster ("Don't scream so loud you'll wake the dead,/ we'd rather that they stay in bed"). Goode's b&w artwork (not all seen by PW) features her instantly recognizable swoopy ink lines, amplifying the comedy and playfulness that characterize many of Wilson's poems. Ages 7-10. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-It's a bit of a letdown to see a book of poems with this title and find the usual suspects inside. Wilson does a fine job capturing a child's voice, but there's little that's different or exceptional here. Most of the poems employ a traditional rhythm and cover the same ground as other anthologies for school-age kids. In fact, many of selections sound like they would be right at home in a volume of Jack Prelutsky's early verse. Additionally, the cover type resembles most of Shel Silverstein's books. Of course, those aren't necessarily bad comparisons to make. Scattered throughout the book are a few standouts, like "Man in the Moon" and "The Dream Weaver," which challenge readers to look at familiar things in new ways. Also, several concrete poems are included in the mix. "The Law of Gravity," for instance, is printed upside down and in loose text as if the words might fall apart at any moment. Similarly, "Shower Songsa" features the words coming out of a showerhead. The more than 100 poems cover all aspects of a child's life from school events to animals to families and even holidays. The playfulness of Goode's black-and-white sketches are a perfect match for Wilson's lighthearted verses.-Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Wilson's mostly humorous poems cover the usual ground, touching on imagination, family relationships, and food preferences. The rhyme and meter are often forced, and the poems with messages are heavy-handed. In most cases, the concrete poems are stronger than those in rhyming verse. The calligraphic feel of Goode's line drawings distinguishes them from illustrations in similar collections. Ind. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A charming, gorgeously illustrated children's collection of light verse. Wilson and Goode here combine their comedic artistry to create an edgy and substantial collection of light verse with exquisite accompanying pen-and-ink drawings unafraid to explore childhood's darker reaches. From typographical play to concrete poems, Wilson pulls out a number of visual poetic stops in inviting readers to "think / outside / the box" and ponder humorous cautionary tales on the perils of fibbing, snitching and sibling rivalry, alongside wildly concocted romps through the imagination. A number of memorable creatures emerge from these pagesfor example, "Horace Hippopotamus," who "ate more than he oughtamus," and a miffed ladybug, who admonishes: "Stop calling me lady. / Please. I'm a dude!" Awkward situations are celebrated in poems such as "Wishy-Washy," where the speaker blows out birthday cake candles while silently imploring, "I wish Evan liked me!" Alas, "right then Evan picks his nose, / which turns his finger green!"; horrified, the speaker cries: "Relight the candles / My first wish was a huge mistake. / I need to trade it in!" Here, as throughout the volume, in but a few strokes, Goode's pen deftly realizes the moment: the offending finger prominently up Evan's nose, the speaker's heart-shaped wish wafting from the birthday candles' smoke, jaggedly rent in half. At once affirming, silly, and poignant: a stunning visual and poetic compendium on growing up. (Poetry. 8-11)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.