Books like A Whale of a Time: A Funny Poem for Each Day of the Year offer year-round reading selections, facilitating great bedtime rituals and making reading an easy part of a child’s daily routine. The poems included here are particularly short, sweet and funny, while representing a broad range of contributors, including Roald Dahl, T.S. Eliot, Nikki Giovanni, Linda Sue Park, Robert Louis Stevenson and Judith Viorst.
Lou Peacock draws readers right in with an infectious, animated introduction that urges them to quickly turn to Rita Dove’s Jan. 1 poem, “The First Book,” and not to miss Willard R. Espy’s clever ode to punctuation for July 4, “Private? No!” Matt Hunt’s kid-friendly illustrations enrich each page with additional humor—for example, by showing a loud-mouthed toddler serenading her exhausted parents from her crib, or a page full of April Fool’s Day pranks. Espy’s poem, for instance, gets a full-page spread featuring a boy enjoying a glorious chlorine-filled swimming pool. Likewise, art of a wide-mouthed, smiling crocodile and a dentist who looks none too pleased accompanies Dahl’s “The Dentist and the Crocodile.”
Many spreads focus on several poems with a central theme—such as dogs, the moon, laughter, family or even porcupines and hedgehogs—creating a nice continuity between several days in a row. No matter what kind of day a young reader may be having, A Whale of a Time will spark a satisfying smile.