The Last Poetry Friday of ’06 . . .

h1 December 29th, 2006 by jules

{Note: Head here to read this week’s Poetry Friday round-up at A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy . . . in which Liz awards me a prize for the “longest introduction that has nothing to do with the actual book” and a “bonus link to a video of Choppin Broccoli”!} . . .

So, yes, it’s the last Poetry Friday of ’06. You’d think I’d have some poignant farewell or new beginnings-themed poem for you (anyone else remember the Dana Carvey-era Saturday Night Live and his amusing parody of the acutely untalented but pompous rock star? His name was Derek, and he had a passionate rendition of a really bad song, made up on the spot, called “Choppin’ Broccoli”? In one episode I remember, there’s a medley featuring the “Choppin’ Broccoli” wonder in which he bangs on the piano and randomly sings “new beginnings . . . new beginnings . . .” Alas, I cannot find it online anywhere. And, wow, that is my Best Digression Yet — not to mention I’ve really dated myself now).

Anyway, I feel like for our Poetry Fridays — when it’s my turn, that is — I only review rhyming picture books anymore, but allow me to do it one more time. I’ve been reading, reading, and reading some more for the committee work I’m doing for the Cybils Award (Fiction Picture Books committee), and there are several nominated titles that I’ve yet to discuss but want to tell you about. So, this week for Poetry Friday, I’ll tell you about one Cybil-nominated title that happens to be a rhyming text. It’s a ‘lil charmer, too . . .

the-princes-bedtime.gifThe Prince’s Bedtime written by Joanne Oppenheim and illustrated by Miriam Latimer; published by Barefoot Books, September 2006 — It’s bedtime in a faraway kingdom, and one stubborn, little prince refuses to go to sleep. Looking for some sort of cure, the King goes so far as to send forth a royal request: “If anyone knows how to make the prince rest, please come at once to the royal address.” Having already rejected his mother’s silk quilt, the cook’s cookies, and the maid’s hot milk, he stays on his stubborn course and rejects the physician’s medicine; a group of dancers and their fervent, nimble-footed moves; a magician’s hypnotic spells; a peasant’s “feather-down quilt stuffed with feathers of pheasant”; the jugglers, the jesters, the learned professors; the nurse, the cook (again), and on and on . . . But then one windy night, an old woman arrives and reaches into her basket, pulling out a book. Ah, stories. Sweet, sweet stories at bedtime. That’ll do the trick. Channeling a typical 21st-century child, though the story takes place “a long time ago,” the Prince asks, “where are the pictures?” to which the wise, old woman replies,
“{y}ou’ll see them if you just close your eyes.” Oppenheim’s rhyming couplets roll off the ‘ol tongue. And Latimer, who has been quoted as saying she digs the quirky and unusual, brings us both with her vibrant colors and her wonderfully oddball characters (case in point: make note of the Queen’s hair when you pick up this title. Truth be told, you won’t be able to miss it). A fun read made even more enjoyable with Latimer’s pleasingly peculiar artistic touch.

See also Kelly Herold’s review (scroll down a bit to the bottom of the page) at The Edge of the Forest’s October ’06 issue . . .

Happy Poetry Friday, and here’s to 2007′s poetry and poetry-sharing . . .

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2 comments to “The Last Poetry Friday of ’06 . . .”

  1. I love Dana Carvey and remember the chopping broccoli, brocco-lie guy well but not the “new beginnings” skit. Tell us if you find it.

    “Wayne’s World” was nirvana. I could watch that over and over and laugh every time. Same thing with Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri as the cheerleaders. Not to mention when Barbra Streisand appeared on Coffee Talk.


  2. oh yes to all that! “I’m Ariana. I don’t do drugs. I have school spirit, so check me out!” …. “My name is Craig. I did drugs ONCE. I have school spirit, so check me out!” . . .


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