Friday, December 11, 2009

Food Poetry Friday: The Master Jack Prelutsky

I've had three nights in a row with next to no sleep due to one of those baby "growth spurts", so rather than first share one of my own poems, I'm going to jump right to a master poet, Jack Prelutsky. Named our country's first Children's Poet Laureate in 2006, Jack has over 30 published collections of poems. He also happens to live in Seattle so neener neener neener to those of you that don't. (I apologize for the Morkism. See above note about lack of sleep).

His Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant is one of our family regular reads. He combines machines with animals and insects, like my son's favorite - the Panthermometer. I opened his book this morning and it fell to a poem about toast. I love the poem and it just so happens I love toast.

The first four lines of  THE POP-UP TOADSTERS make me laugh every time, but what gets me excited about them as a writer is they are so deliciously perfect in rhythm, rhyme and word choice. This is what Mr. Prelutsky does in his peotry - he makes it effortless. In this particular book, he has taken on some very diffiicult combinations, like The Limber Bulboa, The Eggbeaturkey, or the Circular Sawtoise, and yet we do not stumble over the words. Have a listen:

The POP-UP TOADSTERS hop and hop,
Then startingly, abruptly stop
And place in slots atop their heads
Fresh slices of assorted breads

I 've been known to respond to the question, "What's for breakfast?" with "Fresh slices of assorted breads," waving my Vanna arms.

Carin Berger's paper collage and paint illustrations compliment the collection beautifully. Interesting, I often am drawn to this type of mixed media illustration.

What happens next in the poem? Once the toast pops, they are snatched by shrieking TOASTERNS. Ha!

It is my goal in 2010 to read a lot more of Jack Prelutsky's poetry. I will not cry like The Tearful Zipperpotamuses, but read them methodically, like the Clocktapus.

How about you? What is your favorite Jack Prelutsky poem or book? For those of you interested in Poetry Friday, each week a different blogger hosts the round-up. This week's Poetry Friday Round-up is Random Noodling.

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