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Early/Young Readers, Humor, Poetry, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

I’M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING And Other Nonsense For Mischievous Kids and Immature Adults by Chris Harris; Illustrated by Lane Smith

I’m No Good At Rhyming was a fantastic surprise find for me at the library this month! A slightly-snarkier-Shel-Silverstein-esque collection of fun, witty poems I laughed and chuckled, rolled my eyes and downright delighted in every aspect of this read! Puns, silliness and clever wordplay characterize the text.

I was immediately hooked by the first poem, “The Door,”which resonated for me on so many levels:

A door.

Just a door.

Nothing more than a door.

But it’s there–

Where you swear

There was no door before.


And your world is this room that you’re comfortable in–

But through there is everywhere you’ve never been.

Now the Doorman steps forward and asks, with a grin…


“Are you going out?…

…Or are you staying in?”

See what I mean? Brilliant in rhythm, content and imagery!

Poems like “I’m Just No Good at Rhyming” and “Unfair Riddles” are a clever silliness that will appeal to bright young readers and adults alike. Poems like “The Shortest Anaconda in the World” demonstrate delectable rhythms interwoven with ingenious humor.

“Re-Verse” and “Infinity Poem” stand out as imaginative examples of experimenting with language structure and meaning. The formidable level of silliness in “Sally the Centipede Gets Her Shoes On to Take a Walk with Her Mother” will have any parent or caretaker of a toddler/pre-schooler doing an inadvertent spit take if they are foolish enough to read it while sipping a beverage.

Works like “Two Roads,” a twisted homage to Robert Frost, are clearly written for those of us who fall into the  “Immature Adults” category referenced in the book’s title:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by…

Since then I’ve been completely lost.

Thanks for nothing, Robert Frost!

There’s a lot in I’m Just No Good at Rhyming for pre-school thru 3rd graders as a read-aloud or an independent read. As an “Immature Adult,” I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book!I will be adding a copy to my permanent collection to use as monologues and scene-builders for young actors!


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