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Oh, No! Where Are My Pants? and Other Disasters: Poems    by Lee Bennett Hopkins & Wolf Erlbruch order for
Oh, No! Where Are My Pants? and Other Disasters
by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Kids have good and bad days, just like adults do. Lee Bennett Hopkins has compiled in Oh, No! Where Are My Pants? and Other Disasters fourteen verses from a variety of poets about different disastrous days of childhood (including his own 'Stage Fright'). Wolf Erlbruch's illustratons emphasize the humor (and the pathos) of these minor (major to little ones) tragedies.

It begins sadly with Susan Hart Lindquist's 'First Day' in which friends end up in different classrooms. There's a humiliating geography mistake, a dead rabbit, a child who wants to be home but is 'far away' at camp, another whose mistake costs his team a ball game, a bathing suit that's washed away by a wave (that actually happened to me once so I sympathize), a bad hair cut, that nightmare all kids have about being undressed, a child stuck at the top of the ferris wheel, a friend who's moved away, and shoes for a birthday gift.

I especially enjoyed Katie McAllaster Weaver's 'Oh No!' - 'Hello apple! / Shiny red. / CHOMP. CHOMP. / Hello worm. / Where's your head?' Karla Kuskin's 'That Terrible Day' rounds off the collection nicely (the kid can't recall what was so awful). Read these poems together as you commiserate over a bad day (it might not seem so terrible in perspective) or enjoy chuckling over others' disasters; they can be very funny.

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