Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poetry A-Z: I is for Impish

Today I'm feeling a little bit naughty, so that leaves me with a very good word to guide my poetry selections.

IMPISH - inclined to do slightly naughty things for fun; mischievous

Books about naughty children are so much fun! As a child I loved Pippi Longstocking and all the slightly mischievous children in Roald Dahl's books. Today, naughty children can even be found in poetry books!

M Is for Mischief: An A to Z of Naughty Children, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, is an alphabetic compendium of terribly behaved children. In fact, the blurb on the cover reads, "WARNING: This book contains obnoxious children. Read at your own risk." Here's an example of the type of child you will meet in this book.

Catastrophic Coco

Coco came to camp:
Cracked a compass, smacked a lamp.
Clogged a drain, cut a tarp.
Clobbered Curtis with a carp.

Crumbled cookies, crushed a cake.
Crashed a kayak in the lake.
Called the counselor a cow.
Coco's cab is coming now.

Some of the bad habits/behaviors exhibited by children in the book include doodling, eavesdropping, nagging, picky, quarrelsome, rude, untidy, and more. Kids will absolutely love reading about these bad, bad children. Here's one of my favorites. (Kudos to Ashman for handling Q and X so deftly!)

Q - Quarrelsome Quincy

It's quirky how Quincy is so quick to fight.
He quarrels with all, convinced he is right.
He quibbles with teachers, then quacks, "How absurd!"
He quizzes his classmates, then mocks every word.

When warned of the quicksand, he questions the scout.
He might quarrel less . . . if he's ever pulled out.

Poems ©Linda Ashman. All rights reserved.

Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children, written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, is a collection of poems describing some very disobedient children. In the first poem, Mother Goose explains that children too difficult too handle are sent to her sisters, Spinster Goose, for straightening out. The second poem in the book describes Spinster Goose's school and the ways in which naughty children are dealt with. Here's how it begins.

An Introduction from Mother Goose

There are many naughty children
far beyond my expertise.
I tried my best to help them
but the problems would not cease.

So . . . 

I sent them to my sister.
Her school is well designed 
to deal with uncouth urchins
who have manners unrefined.

Take a tour and please be sure
to follow every rule.
Remember . . . disobedience
will land you in her school.

The remaining poems are all about the incorrigible children that are sent there. Readers will meet the gum chewer, thief, swearer, chalk-eater, bully, thumb-sucker, hair-twirler, and many other ill mannered kids. Here's one about a cheater.

The Cheater

Peter, Peter was a cheater.
Stolen grades
could not be sweeter.

Made good marks for weeks and weeks--
forging essays,
sneaking peeks.

Peter laughed through many days--
stealing quizzes,
making As.

Spinster caught him in the act.
In Crooked Row
poor Peter cracked.

Peter is no longer merry.
He takes tests
in solitary.

Poems ©Lisa Wheeler. All rights reserved.

Visit Lisa Wheeler's web site to download the Spinster Goose Activity Guide.

That's it for I. See you tomorrow with some H inspired poetry ponderings.

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