Monday, August 31, 2015

Review of Katydids and Poems for Kids

There are all kinds of good books, and I don’t much care where they come from, so long as they come from somewhere. Keep ‘em coming, I say. This one? Katydids and Poems for Kids: But Mostly Poems for Kids? I don’t know what recesses of Jeremy Johnson’s mind these poems sprung from. Like I said, I don’t care. I’m just glad they’re in print, where we can all enjoy them.

Now, I have met Jeremy, and he’s a super guy. But I’ll be honest. It’s a good way to be, because lies tend to trip over themselves, and we don’t want that. See, I wasn’t sure I wanted him writing kids that I would read to my poems—wait a second, let’s try that again. I wasn’t sure I wanted him writing poems that I would read to my kids. I wasn’t certain because that’s kind of a big thing, right? You can’t just sit there and read them any old thing. I’m trying to raise future high achievers in a way that I can live through them vicariously, because I haven’t done much myself, and I can’t risk feeding them rubbish.

So I did something very wise—I opened the book up and began to read for myself, before endangering my children’s futures. If it was bad, no big deal, because I can always spare the brain cells, being that I don’t drink nor read Shades of Grey books. I gots plenty of brane sales so it’ll be….good.

I had no reason for worry. From the first poem, I knew I was in good hands. I won’t spoil the gag. Amazon won’t even provide one of those little “look inside” options, because they don’t want to spoil the gag. So you'll have to trust me on this: it’s brilliant. Right there, Jeremy Johnson had me, so I did something extremely foolish. I didn’t read the rest of the book by myself. Laughter might be infectious, but not so much when you’re sitting in a reclining chair and staring at something the other people in the room can’t share in. So I called over to my daughter and I said, daughter, come over here and let’s read some of these poems together. And that’s what we did.

Over the course of a few days we finished them off. I can tell you that we both enjoyed them. We laughed, we laughed some more, we stopped so she could refill her chocolate milk, and we laughed again until it was bed time. I hope to repeat the process with my son someday, if he can ever grow out of diapers and whatever it is that two-year olds do. Then again, perhaps Johnson will release a textured version that he can touch, as he is really into those right now. In the meantime, I will continue to read them to my daughter, and my son can sort of look on, bewildered. May you do the same! 

Oh, and here's a secret. I know it says Poems for Kids, right there in the title. But that's no problem, because you're a kid too, or you were, once. So they are for you, too. Enjoy!

(Full disclosure: I have met Jeremy Johnson in a few writer's workshops and so forth, but that had no bearing on the review. If I didn't like it I would've either not reviewed it or offered a lot of constructive criticism within the review.) 

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