It has been a week since I had my desktop sent to Apple (because it mysteriously crashed) and my laptop sent to Best Buy for reformatting (because it mysteriously could not connect to the Internet). Electronics and the Internet have become a necessity for me that, without them, I feel crippled. And so, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my “cousins” – The Knoers – for being so generous and for letting me use their computer to type this review. The things I do for love. =)
Moving on… During my search for possible titles for our bimonthly theme, I was delighted to find Science Verse. How could I not be? This picture book was written by no-less-than the fantabulous Jon Scieszka and the wonderful Lane Smith. This won the Golden Duck Award, an award-giving body designed to encourage science fiction literature for children.
I borrowed my copy of Science Verse from the library, among 7 other titles. It was the first book I read to Mikey after dinner that same day. It was so much fun! I loved how Mikey enjoyed my “poetry reading” and found the poems as entertaining as I did.
Finding Humor in Science
Glory, glory, evolution.
Darwin found us a solution.
Your mama is that shape,
And your knuckles always scrape…
‘Cause Grandpa was an ape.
Coming from the man who wrote The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, one should not be surprised that Science Verse would be just as hilarious. Whoever said that science is boring? While readers might find some poems grotesque and horrific, I don’t see any harm in children reading or hearing it.
If anything, Science Verse is educational in its own sense. It teaches kids about the water cycle, the scientific method, anatomy, dinosaurs, and the solar system among others. It offers a good resource for parents, teachers, and children.
Recreating Familiar Verses
I think that I ain’t never seen
A poem as ugly as a spleen.
A poem that could make you shiver,
Like 3.5… pounds of liver.
A poem to make you lose your lunch,
Tie your intestines in a bunch.
A poem all gray, wet, and swollen,
Like a stomach or a colon.
Something like your kidney, lung,
Pancreas, bladder, even tongue.
Why you turning green, good buddy?
It’s just human body study.
It was not until the third poem that I realized that the poems in Science Verse were inspired by verses we have come to love. The poem above, Lovely, was inspired by Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. A poem called Astronaut Stopping by a Planet on a Snowy Evening was inspired by – you guessed it – Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Another favorite of mine, Dino-sore, was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.
Here is a cutesie video of Dara, The Science Lady:
Science Verse is highly recommended to parents, teachers, and children. It integrates the beauty of art and poetry. It feeds the science nerds and literary geeks in us. Be it a bedtime story or a read-aloud, Science Verse will tickle your senses and, most especially, your funny bones. =)