Friday, March 19, 2010

Poetry Friday: Too Much Kissing

Too Much Kissing: And Other Silly Dilly Songs About Parents. Written by Alan Katz. Illustrated by David Catrow. 2009. [December 2009] Simon & Schuster. 30 pages.

These "silly" poems try their best (I suppose) to be "silly dilly" songs. Using familiar (or familiarish*) melodies or tunes, Alan Katz has written poems for children about contemporary family life. The jacket flap reads that this "new collection of songs...hilariously express every child's feelings about their parents!" That's quite a boast, isn't it? One that rubs me slightly the wrong way. Because how can any one book express every child's feelings! That's just silly! I mean really.

There's "They're Always On The Cell" to the tune of "Farmer in the Dell" and "I Am On A Schedule" to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Then there is "My Mother Just Rushes Through Bedtime" to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."
My Mother Just Rushes Through Bedtime

My mother just rushes through bedtime.
With stories, she sure cuts them short.
If she keeps this up, you can bet I'm
Taking her to fairy tale court.

Mother, Mother,
I know that down deep you do care, do care.
But, oh brother,
Goldilocks met more than one bear!

My mother just zips right through bedtime.
With books, she turns pages by twos.
While she races out to watch prime time,
I lie in the dark so confused.

Mother, Mother,
Through another story you've blown, you've blown.
And, oh brother,
Jill didn't fetch water alone!
It goes on for two more stanzas. But you get the idea! Another of my favorites is "Disgusting Things" to the tune of "My Favorite Things."

Some of the 'poems' work better as 'songs' than others. I had a hard time making some of these poems fit into their tunes. I don't know if the fault is his or mine. Sometimes you have to have a knack for placing the syllables just so. Still, a few seemed more difficult than I'd have liked.

On a positive note, some of the poems are funny and work quite well!

*I'm curious how many kids would really know My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean. Has this song had a resurgence of popularity that I missed out on? True, I know the song. But I attribute that more to discovering the Beatles cover of it during my obsessive teen years. And Sidewalks of New York?! I've never ever heard that one?! Is it well known?

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

1 comment:

Playing by the book said...

We sing My bonnie lies over the ocean most days! Maybe it's more common in the UK?
These poems maybe have a place for readers who aren't confident - some readers feel more confident if they sing or know the rhythm (so I understand).