Reviews for If You Were a Chocolate Mustache

Booklist Reviews 2012 December #2
From Hippopotabus and circul8 to Cucumbersome, puns are a big part of the fun in this wry collection of nonsense verse by U.S. Children's Poet Laureate Lewis. Kids will love the wordplay and silliness that extend through rhyme and colloquial phrases: I flew a mammoth jet that's how / I learned to dino-soar. With each short verse, the line drawings add to the farce and uproar: the words of a trail of crumbs twirl across the page, for example. Young kids won't get all the allusions (When Billy met Ginny), but there is a lot here to make them laugh and look again at the sound and meaning of what they take for granted. One of the best poems is The Impossibles, with a quiet twist about giving up on trying to reach Forever and settling for Now and Then. A great choice for sharing across the curriculum. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
These poems in various forms and on a range of topics--from everyday things to fantastical creatures to purely nonsensical ideas--have silliness in common; many seem inspired by wordplay, exploring homonyms, anagrams, and more. Lewis calls for enough interpretation to invite second readings. Cordell's pen-and-ink drawings succeed at conveying movement and the impish mood with spare lines. Ind.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
Prolific versifier, author, riddlizer (etc.) Lewis offers this mostly new (a few appeared in magazines or anthologies) collection of laughs and linguistic lampoons. "[A] book is like an oven-- / What it's cookin' is book lovin'. / Set the temperature, then shove in / Every brain cell you can find." And there's plenty shoved in here, from two-word poems (not including the titles) to 30-liners. There are concrete poems and list poems, rap (from a giraffe), limericks, haiku, riddles and haiku riddles. There's even a jump-rope rhyme. There are verses on blog-writing dogs, insects, germs, boredom, school and the hazards of the incorrect usage of Elmer's glue and eating paste (but those are totally different things). There are myriad meters, rhyme schemes and shapes. A few are a bit tortured, and there are a couple total head-scratchers. However, poetry (and silliness) seekers will find much to feast upon. Cordell's scribbly illustrations bring the master (Silverstein, who receives a tribute poem here) to mind and are the goofy icing on this goofy cake. Verse seekers could do worser than to swallow down this course of funky, funny forms of wordy wit. (Poetry. 6-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #1

In offbeat poems that include haikus, limericks, riddles, and wordplay of every kind, current children's poet laureate Lewis offers quirky contemplations, silly vignettes, and improbable events. Rather than rely on a single theme, Lewis smoothly jumps between out-of-left-field ideas: a dragon serves as a clothes dryer, Bigfoot laments that he can't find stylish shoes in his size, and an old turtle complains to the sky that there is "nothing new under the sun," only to have his claim challenged by a snowflake. The result: loosely integrated poems that can easily stand on their own. Cordell's pen-and-ink cartoons have an improvisational energy that complements Lewis's off-kilter verse. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 3-8--This meaty collection presents more than 150 pages of poetry and wordplay. Each selection is flavored by a humorous pen-and-ink illustration by Cordell, who tends to favor a literal reading of events. For the poem "Tuna on a Roll," a no-frills, pen-and-ink drawing of a tuna fish wearing sunglasses and speeding along in a sporty convertible immediately gives the sense that "there's something fishy here." Besides fishy fish, the menu offers tongue-twisters; riddles; limericks based on body parts, e.g., "limb-ricks"; anagrams; puzzles; and haiku. Subjects range from a car that's light as a feather, with Marshmallow Fluff seats, to an imaginary pet on a leash whose owner can claim, "He never messes on the lawn./He's what it means to say, "Doggone!…" There are "Epigraham Crackers"; haiku riddles of U.S. place-names; homonym-inspired poems; and wry bits of advice, such as, "never eat your pretzels straight./A pretzel ought to circul8!.…" Lewis is not only one of the most prolific, comic poets; he's also one of the funniest and most inventive. The collection will serve as a strong resource for creative-writing prompts. A great big feast of poems.--Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA

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