Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Flamingos on the Roof

Flamingos on the Roof

Spring 2006 Fiction
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Calef Brown
Illustrator: Calef Brown
ISBN: 978-0618-56298-5
Hardcover Price: $16.00
Review:
Children in the mood for silly rhymes will get a good laugh out of Flamingos on the Roof, Calef Brown's wacky new collection of poems and paintings. The imaginative Brown covers a wide range of subjects for his poetry, from peas to a “soggy circus” to Poseidon's kelp toupee. Brown's strongest poems boast a crisp rhyme, such as in “Weatherbee's Diner,” where “The thunder is wonderful, order it loud, / with sun-dried tornado on top of a cloud.” Other standout pieces include “Bug Show” (hosted by “A Pair of mosquitos / in matching tuxedos”), and “The Appleton Twins,” a curious pair who “never agree, but they don't seem to care.” The book celebrates language and wordplay with some real tongue-twisters, and the high-energy acrylic illustrations are just as engaging as the text. This is a nice choice on several levels—for reading aloud and savoring the paintings, of course, but also for inspiring budding poets to spin their own “ten-cent haikus” in true Brown style.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.


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