Reviews for I've Lost My Hippopotamus

Booklist Reviews 2011 December #2
Prelutsky presents more than 100 humorous poems in loose groupings, brought to buoyant life by Urbanovic's lively pen-and-ink gestures. Though uniformly and squarely aimed at the elementary-school funny bone, the poems represent a wide variety of form and style. Some, like "The Pelicantaloupes" and "The Appleopards," imagine an unlikely cross between an animal and a fruit and come accompanied by pronunciation assistance. Others find silliness in everyday circumstance, while most veer toward the hilarious and totally unexpected (like "Shopping at a Dragon Store"). A few haiku find their way in, as do the odd limerick and concrete poem. Many share a common meter (think "Miss Lucy had a steamboat"), making them particularly well suited to be read, or chanted, aloud. Urbanovic's cartoony black-and-white line drawings enjoy ample real estate, spreading across pages to reinforce the poetic puns. It's easy to imagine this one being passed around the cafeteria or safely stored in a backpack. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Relentlessly rhythmic, tongue-twisting poems fill this overlong volume. Limericks, couplets, gross subjects, and nonsense poems are all here in a rather muddled bunch. With standouts such as "I planted a whistle" tickling readers' intellects next to a lengthy poem about upside-down Us and a visit to a dragon store, overall organization is lacking. The black-and-white illustrations seem similarly slapdash. Ind.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 December #2
Prelutsky is back to make your day better, even if it's already a good one. Here come 103 more poems from the master of silliness; the guy must dream in poetry, his output is so steady and strong. And he is everywhere in the poetic world. He tackles grief--a young gent on the afternoon his hamster died: "It was a poor, unpleasant pet / That I should probably forget. / It never had a proper name… / I miss it deeply, all the same." He introduces a disarmingly honest goblin--"I have an awful odor, / An unattractive voice. / I'm nasty and annoying / By nature and by choice." He effortlessly turns a haiku conundrum: "All evening I sing, / Happy on a lily pad, / Celebrating spring." He hands readers new words, little gems, for them to play with--"easy to abhor" or "Some unsavory subterfuge"--or lets them watch as he turns a world on its head: "…I thought I made an error once-- / But I was just mistaken." Urbanovic's black-and-white artwork displays a comfortably free hand, roving between loose and scrunched as it depicts Prelutsky's vast company of players: Gludus, Wiguanas, Appleopards and Flamingoats. Welcome, heart-gladdening poems that never come amiss. (index) (Poetry. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #4

Anything is possible in Prelutsky's universe of more than 100 silly, rhyming poems that poke holes in the serious facade of the adult world. A snake performs arithmetic, a boy is puzzled by the rainstorm in his bedroom ("So I'm getting soaking wet./ This is an odd phenomenon/ I will not soon forget"), and a thirsty centipede drinks too much water ("And so the centipede"). Urbanovic's blithe pen-and-ink illustrations offer playfully literal interpretations of clever hybrids like a "Spellican" ("a most talented bird/ That's able to spell/ Any difficult word," pictured with a craw full of letters) and an "Elephantom," rising from a gravestone. Another effortlessly fun collection from a master of absurdist verse. Ages 5-10. Illustrator's agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

K-Gr 5--This anthology of more than 100 never-before-published poems will delight Prelutsky's many fans. The selections are infused with smart and silly humor that focuses on both commonplace and bizarre occurrences. Young readers will love such fantastical creatures as the "scritchy scratchy scrootches" and the "blumpazump." Heavier topics, such as running away from home, are handled with the poet's signature wry wisdom. There is something for everyone here, and no two pieces are alike--there are shape poems, haiku, and even a poem written on yo-yos. Urbanovic's black-and-white ink cartoons increase the laugh factor and add a touch of whimsy. Impeccable rhyme and snappy rhythm make these poems ideal for reading aloud or to use during a poetry unit. Don't miss this one.--Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

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