Friday, November 11, 2011


I read poetry to my fourth graders on an almost daily basis. So far this year, they have heard/read poets like Douglas Florian, J. Patrick Lewis, Anna Grossnickle Hines, Langston Hughes and Robert Frost. While they enjoy lots of different kinds of poetry, if I'm really honest, their favorite poems are the funny ones. I've just found a book, then, that I think my kids are going to love.

SPINSTER GOOSE is a series of 27 poems about badly behaved children. The first poem, "An Introduction from Mother Goose," lays the groundwork for the book:

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

Mother Goose decides to send these naughty children to her sister, Spinster Goose. Old Spinster Goose has the perfect consequences:

The pinchers get pinched
And the pokers get poked.
The biters get bit,
And the smokers get smoked.
The takers get taken.
The sordid get sore.
The shakers get shaken
right down to their core.

Each poem is adapted from or based on a well-known (ok, maybe some are not so well known, at least not to some kids) nursery rhyme. "The Gum Chewer," for example, comes from "See Saw Marjory Daw." "The Swearer," which I know my kids will love, is a take off on "Baa Baa Black Sheep:"
Baa Baa Black Sheep
loves to curse and swear
Here a BLEAT. There a BLEAT.
BLEAT BLEAT everywhere…"

There are poems about bullies, dirty kids, substandard subs, cheaters, nose pickers, interrupters, fibbers, and even one for the custodian. I know my kids are going to love every one!

I checked this book out of the library, but it's definitely one I have to own!
POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by April Halprin Wayland at Teaching Authors.


Linda B said...

So hilarious, and hence the love by younger students! Reminds me of all those funny lines by Silverstein, and then those who were so upset by him. I'm sure your students do love these poems. Thanks for telling about the book!

Lisa said...

Oh my, love the concept of the book! Thanks for sharing!

Tabatha said...

I know someone I should buy this for -- thanks! It makes me think of a poetic Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, with an edge.

laurasalas said...

I just checked this book out at the library and can't wait to read it! I loved Linda Ashman's alphabet poetry collection about naughty kids...have you seen that one?

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

These made me smile - my sixth graders will have a great time with these!

Mary Lee said...

Have you seen Nursery Rhyme Comics? It's a collection of 50 rhymes, illustrated/interpreted by artists/graphic novelists. Might be fun to pair with Spinster Goose!

Hey, want to join me in a March Madness poetry-writing tournament? Check it out:

Linda said...

Oh, what fun! I have to get this book. Thanks for letting us know aobut it!