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

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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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