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What a Day It Was At School    by Jack Prelutsky & Doug Cushman order for
What a Day It Was At School
by Jack Prelutsky
Order:  USA  Can
Greenwillow, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

I don't know how I've escaped the last six years of motherhood without having read any of Jack Prelutsky's children's poetry, but now that I have, I am a new fan. He really knows how to get into the mindset of children. These amusing, raucous, and at times, laugh-out-loud funny poems are based on children's experiences at school. Titles include: My Backpack Weighs a Thousand Pounds, A Man Named Mister Hoobybatch, We're Shaking Maracas, and the tongue-in-cheek I Wish I'd Studied Harrder.

One very funny poem is I Made a Noise This Morning:†
'I made a noise this morning
That I didn't mean to make.
It truly was an accident,
An error, a mistake.
I don't know how it happened,
But it suddenly was there,
Filled with great reverberations
That resounded in the air.

You can probably guess the noise to which the narrator is referring.†This three stanza poem concludes:
'I couldnít keep from joking
With the other girls and boys,
And never once admitted
It was I who made that noise.
Though Iím sorry that I made it,
From the bottom of my heart,
In a way, my brief eruption
Was a little work of art.

In I'm Off to the Infirmary, the narrator reports:
'There is no doubt about it,
I have caught the Martian flu.
I'm breaking out in blotches,
And I've got an awful chill ...
If I had done my homework,
I might not be quite so ill.

The illustrations, which feature a little cat and his animal schoolmates, are as whimsical and fun as Prelutsky's poetry. Prelutsky takes the reader on a rollicking, rhythmic ride, full of good-natured fun, which is perfect for the elementary school age set.

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