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Exploding Gravy: Poems to Make You Laugh    by X. J. Kennedy & Joy Allen order for
Exploding Gravy
by X. J. Kennedy
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2002 (2002)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've always enjoyed reading poetry to and with my kids, and often bemoaned the lack of good poetry picture books when they were small ... I wish we'd had Exploding Gravy. It's not only great read aloud verse, but it will make you laugh together too. Here's 'Long-Distance Call'; one that reminded me of Ogden Nash ...'Babbling baby, left alone, / Punched some buttons on the phone. / Poppa paid for her to coo / All the way to Katmandu.'

I was lucky when this happened in our household - it was only 911, not Katmandu! There are 115 pages (under section headings from 'Far-Out Families' to 'Unlikely Doings') of pungent poetry and diverting drawings; good for many hours of childish chuckles. There's even a limerick or two, and some great advice, like this which ends the ode to 'Stevie the Internet Addict' (and which I am about to post on my son's computer) ... 'It's nice to gaze on worlds afar, / But notice sometimes where you are.'

I could keep on raving, but really you should read these poems yourself; they'll make you laugh, and smile.

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