Douglas Florian is just a joy to read, his unstoppable imagination and fantastical drawings provocative for children and adults alike. I enter Florian’s world expecting virtually anything and am predictably rewarded for my trouble. Anyone who can bend, staple and mutilate language, turning the alphabet into a magic kingdom is a poet to follow, a merry pied piper leading to wild adventures. Typically tongue-in-cheek, the back cover issues the challenge:
This book is filled
But the first poem brings me up short, its quirky truth reminding me not to underestimate this poet:
With brilliant verse.
Some are lengthy.
Some are terse.
Some are ingenious.
Some are outrageous.
But you won’t get to any
If you don’t turn the pages.
First things first.
Then back to silliness, meant to elicit children’s giddiness and giggles, or Florian’s trademark verse that rocks and rolls to its own happy beat:
Last things last.
Years pass fast.
A monster made its very home
The perfect nonsense to share with a child learning to read, these poems are riddled with alliteration and rhyme, an improbable ride in a land where anything is possible.
Inside the middle of this poem.
The monster loved to gobble words -
Of this poem it ate two-thirds.