Reviews for World Rat Day : Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard of

Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
Lewis, the current Children's Poet Laureate, offers up 22 short poems, all but 3 of which are original. Each commemorates a holiday that apparently truly exists, although you've likely never heard of it. (Some back matter would have been helpful.) From January's Dragon Appreciation Day to Chocolate-Covered Anything Day in December, Lewis offers musings such as Never blow on your soup. That only makes it hotter and instructions for eating chocolate-covered ants. Those who annually circle Cow Appreciation Day or Ohio Sheep Day on their calendars will welcome this literary recognition, but even those who don't keep Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day holy will enjoy the poems as witty nonsense. Highly amusing anthropomorphized creatures rendered in ink lines and washes celebrate on white single- or double-page spreads, and sometimes there are pretty practical curriculum connections, such as Limerick Day (May 12) and International Cephalopod Awareness Day (October 8). Happy reading and a happy Yell ‘Fudge!' at the Cobras in North America Day to all! Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Twenty-two obscure but entertaining holidays get their own poems, each one funny, playful, and even instructive. The poems vary in length and style, with a concrete poem in the shape of a flamingo for Pink Flamingo Day, and five limericks in honor of May 12, Limerick Day. Raff s ink washes and drawings feature animals with lots of personality.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #2
You may not have been aware that April 10 is Firefly Day, but now that you are, you can celebrate by reading "A Thousand Baby Stars": "How could I ever catch them all / As they were getting ready / To fire up a festival? / ELECTRIFIED CONFETTI." Twenty-one additional obscure but entertaining holidays get their own poem, each one funny, playful, and even instructive, as in "Eight Table Manners for Dragons": "Don't talk with people in your mouth." (The holiday? Dragon Appreciation Day.) Raff's ink washes and drawings feature animals with lots of personality, like the worms who look very worried when advised to "stay away from / The Robin 'hood," while a pair of realistically enormous robins dig their bills into the ground above their heads. The poems vary in length and style, with a concrete poem in the shape of a flamingo for Pink Flamingo Day, and five limericks in honor of May 12, Limerick Day. Children may find themselves inspired to discover (or invent) their own quirky holidays and write some quirky poems, too. susan dove lempke

Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #2
The Children's Poet Laureate takes a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the weird and wacky holidays that never quite make it onto commercially printed calendars. The vast majority of the holidays here celebrate animals: from turtles, pigs and worms to pink flamingos, skunks and sloths, among others. While many of the above may not seem celebration-worthy, a few holidays are even stranger: International Cephalopod Awareness Day (Oct. 8) and two that many will instantly add to their personal calendars: Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day (Jun. 2) and Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (Dec. 16). But while the subject matter is certainly fascinating and amusing, the poetry can be uneven, though the riffs on English spellings shine, and the wordplay is consistently clever, especially in "Eight Table Manners for Dragons." But there is also an element of grimness and edginess--"Play with your food, but don't let it run around screaming." Raff's heavily anthropomorphized watercolor critters here include one rat with tail aflame and another pinned to the floor between the tines of a fork. Limerick Day's five poems are equally weak, while Frog Jumping Day's verse has nowhere near the creativity and sheer reading pleasure of the similar "Puddle Paddle Battle" from Dr. Seuss' Fox in Socks. And parents who don't want to explain might want to skip Mule Day's poem, "Jack A." Though it's bumpy, it's still a novel way to add some zany celebrations to the family or classroom calendar. (Poetry. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #1

Lest readers forget to observe (actual) holidays like Worm Day (March 15) or Yell ‘Fudge!' at the Cobras in North America Day (June 2), Lewis offers a lyrical reminder, with several of the special occasions crashed by a squadron of rats. In honor of Pink Flamingo Day (May 29), Lewis fashions a concrete poem: "A Flamingo is a long cooooooooool drink of something pink," and for International Cephalopod Awareness Day, a scuba-diving rat with a toilet plunger greets a doe-eyed octopus: "I wish I was an octopus/ In inky-dinky weather./ Then you and I could octopush/ Our suction cups together." Raff's loose washes with ink details exude personality and humor (a skunk's photo shoot has her posing next to a bottle of "Eau de Eeeew!") in this gleefully silly crowd-pleaser. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

K-Gr 3--Funny from start to finish, these superbly crafted poems and inventive illustrations celebrate the extraordinary, odd, and seldom heard of holidays that the elementary-school crowd will love. Raff's intelligent artwork adds to the lighthearted play with many surprises. On "Worm Day" (March 15th), a troupe of worm scouts sporting their uniform scarves listens attentively while the scout master points toward a map of key locations next to an anatomical diagram of their subject, the robin. In another poem, an oversize Mae West of a cat, wearing a crown, reclines regally on the couch while confetti litters the air and balls of yarn dangle from the ceiling like balloons-it's "Happy Mew Year"-and the dog of the house looks on confused. Lewis writes, "On Mew Year's Day, /Let my cat be/The Queen of Purriosity…." January 16th is "Dragon Appreciation Day," and the dragons are feasting. Some of the tips on their etiquette menu include, "Never blow on your soup. That only makes it hotter" and "Play with your food, but don't let it run around screaming." For "National Skunk Day," the illustration shows a skunk posing for a photo beside a bottle of spray perfume while the photographers and lighting crew-all rats-struggle to repress their olfactory impulses. The entire book is such fun that children will will want to shout, "It's J. Patrick Lewis Day!"--Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA

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