Recommended for ages 4+
I know we’re out of National Poetry Month, but I just discovered this book and had to talk it up. You know those wacky holidays that come up, and leave you scratching your head? Holidays like International Museum Day (it’s legit, and pretty cool, actually), or National Bike to Work Day? Some of these holidays lend themselves to a pretty fun storytime, like these two, and some of them leave me scratching my head. But Kooky Crumbs, by former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, is loaded with poems that salute tons of these “holidays”. Take, for instance, “First Ever Idea for Arithmetic”, written in honor of World Math Day (October 15): “Add two numbers together/and you’ll get sumthing else”. “When Should We Meat?”, observing World Vegetarian Day on October 1, is more traditional in its rhyme scheme: “If vegetarians have trouble/ finding tasty lip-smackers/Aren’t they allowed to cheat a bit/By eating animal crackers?”
The poems are fun, short, and perfect to punch up a storytime. You can build a theme around one – National Pancake Day begs for a reading of Eric Carle’s Pancakes! Pancakes!, and World Toilet Day would be even livelier with a reading of Once Upon a Potty – or you can just add a poem to your normal storytime, mentioning a funny holiday and giving the kids and parents a good laugh. Mary Uhles’ cartoony illustrations add to the fun of the poems. The only things missing are the actual dates of the holidays – some may shift, so that’s understandable, but a month by month guide would be great. No worries, though; Google has all of these holidays listed.
A fun addition to poetry collections and storytime reference collections – I’m going to have a lot of fun for next year’s Poem in Your Pocket Day with this book!
J. Patrick Lewis is the former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate and the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the NCTE award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry and the Cybils Award for Poetry. Mary Uhles is an award-winning illustrator and former animator for Warner Brothers and Fisher Price Interactive.