Parents' Guide to

No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Funny, mostly realistic poems include some edgy humor.

Book Rhett Miller Poetry 2019
No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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This collection of funny poems for kids is full of sly observations, sizzling sarcasm, and potty humor, and it also has a few edgy moments. Each poem gets a double-page spread, and Dan Santat's dynamic cartoon-like illustrations highlight kids' expressive faces and body language. No More Poems! A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse offers biting takes on adults' bad breath ("Stinky-Mouth You"), creative homework excuses, rivalry between twins, and more, and there's a poignant poem about a baseball coach who mercilessly yells at his own son when he's on the field during the game.

There's been some controversy over the poem "Brotherly Love" and its illustration: In the poem, a parent tells a girl all the ways she shouldn't kill her brother (don't push him out the window, don't drown him, don't take a pillow and smother him, don't pour gasoline on him and set him on fire, etc.), and in the illustration, readers see the little boy behind her, bound and gagged and tied to a toy train track. But the words talk about a real one: "If you tie your brother / To an active railroad track / I'm the one they'll take away / Never to come back / Feed your brother poison / Maybe drop him in a well / And I'm the one who'll wind up / Living in a prison cell." The poem concludes with the parent suggesting some less-than-fatal alternatives: "And so I beg you, Honey Pie / Ignore your dark desires / maybe give his dirt bike / A couple of flat tires / Or if he's by a swimming pool / Give a gentle shove / But please, my angel, show a little / Brotherly love." It's clearly intended as an over-the-top joke, but some kids and parents may find it more disturbing than funny.

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