Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's Raining Pigs And Noodles (Genre: Poetry)

Bibiliographic Data
Title: It's Raining Pigs and Noodles
Author: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator: James Stevenson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 006029194

Plot Summary

This is a collection of children's poetry. Some are shape poems such as Zigzag (a poem shaped in a zigzag style) and I'm Caught Up in Infinity (a poem shaped like the infinity symbol and seemingly having no beginning and no end) and others are poems about childhood experiences such as Why Do I Have to Clean My Room? and I Ate a Tooth This Morning. However, whatever type of poem, children will relate to the amusing illustrations as well as the everyday events that take place in the poetry of this book. Some of the poems are purely nonsensical, such as The Sniffing Snutterwudds which are creatures that have a dozen noses but shut down their smelling when a skunk appears.

Critical Analysis
This book, like many others by the same poet-author will tickle the fancy of the young and the old. For children, Prelutsky raises the inevitable questions and issues of childhood. For example, in the poem Why Do I Have to Clean My Room? the young narrator questions the necessity of cleanliness. After all his room has bits of clay stuck to the walls, which he scarcely notices, week-old apple pie under the bed, pizza in the corner, and a drums and a basketball that he "almost never trips upon."
Shape poems such as I Am Shrinking, in which the text gets progressively smaller and smaller until it nearly disappears on the page will engage children and encourage them to attempt to read to find out the end... that is if they can read print that tiny!
However, my favorite poem is Hello and Good-Bye in which the poem begins in a standard print font but progressively lightens until it nearly disappears on the line "Good-bye!" The narrator in the poem ponders whether he or she exists, and when the question "It also seem I am not there.../perhaps I am not anywhere" the poem and the narrator begin to fade away on the page.

Review Excerpts
Publishers Weekly
Following A Pizza the Size of the Sun, the reigning czars of silliness are back on the warpath, wreaking poetic havoc with yet another deliciously sly volume. The titles alone are a treat: "Never Poke Your Uncle With a Fork"; "I'm Ironing My Rhinoceros"; "Waffles Give Me Sniffles." Prelutsky trips the light verse fantastic across territory that's familiar yet fresh. He gleefully descends to the depths of gross-out humor ("Worm puree, oh hooray!/ You're the dish that makes my day"), engages in nimble wordplay ("There's no present like the time," he notes in "I Gave My Friend a Cuckoo Clock") and once again proves himself king of the final one-two punch (a knight confesses to ineffectuality in an ode closing with this couplet: "My name is famed through all the land/ I'm called Sir Lunchalot"). The sassy selection of nonsense rhymes and puckish poems will further endear Prelutsky to his many fans. Meanwhile, partner-in-crime Stevenson peppers the pages with his inimitably impish sketches, from pigs in kilts on stilts to fleas on a circus trapeze. Hats off to these two glorious goofballs! Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-Another felicitous collaboration from this team, full of the joy of words and whimsical images. Though the format, size, and type of content is similar to the duo's other books, the verse is fresh and catchy with sparkling wordplay and unexpected rhymes, and Stevenson's line drawings project the humor with verve. Included are the usual poems about weird animals and unusual children, a dragon, yucky food, fantastic experiences in everyday situations, and quite a few clever shape poems. There is even a disappearing one that actually vanishes off the page. All but two of the selections are new. As in the previous books, a wide variety of typefaces and printing tricks are utilized to create an imaginative and entertaining look. Wonderful tools for teachers, the poems boast impeccable rhythms and rhymes and strongly appeal to a child's sense of humor, whether read aloud or independently.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

The Christian Science Monitor - Karen Carden
When kids feel silly, outrageous thyming poems can be great companions. Poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrator James Stevenson have teamed up again to offer more camraderie. It's Raining Pigs and Noodles is their fourth volume of funny, clever and just plain goofy verse...most kids will love it.

  • Read the poem I'm Caught Up in Infinity and have the students develop a mathematical poem.
  • Read the poem What Oinks? and have students develop poetry riddles.

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