Friday, July 10, 2015

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything by Calef Brown

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything
by Calef Brown
Published March 2015 
Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
Review copy obtained from publisher

This book is definitely a hilarious collection of poems about lots of different things. There are poems about real and imaginary animals, school, food, vehicles and more. Each is accompanied by his signature fun and silly illustrations. Under many of the poems are characters that comment on the poem or offer a random question or information.

To say that Brown has a way with words is quite the understatement. He is known for his humourous and zany use of language. He uses rhyme, homonyms, alliteration, creative vocabulary, potmanteaus and puns (and several other techniques I can not describe) to create an experience of nonsensical word play. The poems beg to be read out loud. I can imagine children wanting to share them with each other and reading them over and over again. 

Here is an excerpt from ANTS on page 37

I don't mean to nitpick,
but I went to a picnic, 
and ants were rampant!
I saw one take a crumpet. 

There is a Q and A section near the back where the author answers questions about himself (mostly in verse, of course). He also sends the reader off with parting thoughts urging them to "heed the call" and write. 

Kids will love Hypnotize a Tiger. It would make a fabulous addition to any classroom or personal poetry collection. I would recommend it for grades 2-6. 

What Others Think About Hypnotize a Tiger
Kirkus Reviews
Kids Read
Great Kid Books

Visit Calef Brown's Website for more information about his work. 

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