Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Book Review: Jeff Foxworthy

SILLY STREET. Jeff Foxworthy. 2009. Illustrated by Steve Björkman. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-171918-9.

A little ditty is going through my mind:
The redneck’s a poet
And he sure does know it!

Jeff Foxworthy of “You know you’re a redneck if…” fame, has written his second children’s poetry book. These poems are designed to tickle the funny bone of ages 4-8. The illustrations bring the poems to life and fit in perfectly with the silly poems.

The poems feature hilarious situations and stores along Mr. Foxworthy’s Silly Street. There are bubblegum trees, a magician who made his whole store disappear, a marble shop that just might sell you a glass eyball instead of a marble, the best sandbox ever, and a different kind of petting zoo (Björkman’s illustration for this poem features a skunk in a flowered dress and a cow that says, “Quack!”). All of these poems are guaranteed to get any group of children giggling with the sheer nonsense.

It would be hard to choose between my favorite poem in this collection, but if I had to narrow it down to 2, they would be “House of Clocks” and “Butterflies”

House of Clocks

At Mel’s House of Clocks
They only sell socks,
Which makes me ask,
“What was Mel thinking?”

He says, “Socks are the thing
That makes the world sing
Cause they’re warm and keep
Your toes from stinking!”


One thing you must see
Is the butterfly tree
Where thousands of butterflies light.
Their wings look like leaves
As they flap in the breeze.
When they leave, it’s a rainbow in flight.

For a stand-up comedian these poems show great poetic style. They have regular meter and rhyming patterns, and his use of symbolic language, especially in “Butterflies,” is first rate. His imaginary and funny poems appeal to the imaginatioin as well. I highly recommend this book for early elementary school teachers to read in their classrooms.

Graphic from : Accessed 4/10/2009.

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