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MG Book Review: Outside the Box: A Book of Poems by Karma Wilson

When you think outside the box . . .

Poems about Pigasus appear!
Not to mention
Horaceoptamus,
Gargantauns,
and all sorts of
monkey business.

You can snack on Greekwiches,
build a pet robot, then
dance with the Boogie Man.

Fly the largest kite,
sleight down the
steepest hill, and find
all those aliens
under your bed!

Anything can happen
outside the box.

Now won’t you join
us for a read?
– from the inside jacket copy

April is National Poetry Month and this book of poetry magically appeared at my door. I quickly read through it and gave it to the Tween to read and we both give it a thumbs up.  These are fun poems, much in the vein of Shel Silverstein. In fact, the cover and drawings inside are very reminiscent of Shel Silverstein.

There is a fun poem inside called My Pet Robot (page 18) which you could use to introduce a Robot Makerspace craft for either this year’s science themed summer reading program or even Earth Day. Simply gather together a wide variety of recyclables and have tweens create a robot. Or have a tech day where they take apart old, discarded technology and use the innards and pieces to make a robot. Not functional robots, just robot looking crafts.

There are some fun poems about songs and music, including Stuck in My Head (page 24), Garage Band (page 26), and Shower Songs (page 28) that would be fun to include in a music themed program.

There is a section of “scary” themed poems that would be great for Halloween time.

There is a great poem called A Lump of Clay that is all about how you can take this lump of clay and make it in to something. It would be a fun way to just have a Makerspace/Craft day using clay. You can buy air dry clay which eliminates the need for baking.

The poems are quick reads, fast and fun. The Tween laughed a lot while reading the book. She has a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends which she keeps by her bed and I think this book is joining it. Definitely recommended.

Outside the Box: A Book of Poems. Poems by Karma Wilson. Drawings by Diane Goode.  Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014.  Ages 7-10. ISBN: 978-1-4169-8005-6.