Monday, March 3, 2008

Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You by L. W. Lewis

ISBN: 9780971157217 - Red Pumpkin Press (2007)
Reviewed by Maya Landers, (age 10) for Reader Views (12/07)

"Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You," by L. W. Lewis, is a funny book full of poems that both my brother and I enjoyed fully. Humor is prevalent throughout the book, making it an entertaining read.
This would be a great read-aloud book, because the rhythm is enjoyable, and there is ever-present humor in all of the verses. Also, most of the poems are short, making it wonderful bedtime book. When you begin to read a poem, it appears serious, but there is always a funny twist at the end, making the poem seem much more comical than at first glance.
The illustrations are laugh-provoking, showing the offspring of a poodle and a tiger, pictures of green-toothed monsters, and a barbequed Barbie, and many, many others, all just as hilarious.
One of Lewis's poems, titled "The Lion and the Zebra,"goes like this:
"The lion and the zebra got married,
And the wedding turned out fine.
But they weren't married very long,
Only until dinnertime."
This shows how the book would also be good for beginning readers, because they could enjoy the poem without having to work too hard. Some of the poems are longer, but they are just as easy to understand.
As I read these poems, I was reminded of Shel Silverstein, because at first glance the verses look like nonsense, but then they start to make sense--not in a serious way, of course.
There is no consistent plot or character that runs throughout this book. For instance, we do not see the same characters repeating, and some poems are in first person, some in third person, and some even in second person. The characters are not consistent, but they do all have the same voice--humorous and amusing, with a communicative aspect that will please all readers.
If you have read and enjoyed "The Tickle Tree," also by L.W. Lewis, you will love this book. I couldn't say that it was funnier, but it was just as entertaining.
I would recommend "Poodles, Tigers, Monsters & You" to my friends as an alternative to more serious literature, or to my younger brother or one of his friends as a beginning reader book.

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