Saturday, April 23, 2022

Review: Away with Words! by Mary Ann Hoberman

I'm staying in theme this month (something which doesn't happen often) and have yet another read for National Poetry Month! This one promises light-heartedness and wit, and comes from an award-winning author, whose written more than a couple reads.

Ready for some more verse and rhyme before the month comes to an end? 

Wise & Witty Poems for Language Lovers
by Mary Ann Hoberman
Illustrated by Perry Hoberman
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Picture Book / Poetry
64 pages
ages 6 and up

A deliciously clever and entertaining collection of poems that celebrate word play by former Children's Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Mary Ann Hoberman

Words are remarkable / Here is a book / Where you'll not only listen / You also will look / Where you'll not only look / But you also will think / About words and their meanings / And how in the blink / Of an eye or a letter / Their meanings can change / Words are remarkable / Language is strange!

In this poetry collection, the masterful Mary Ann Hoberman celebrates the joy of wordplay with poems about the alphabet, assonance, alliteration, grammar and punctuation, similes, rhythm and rhyme, and so much more!



While promising poems for language lovers, this collection goes beyond. It adds a pinch of humor, which will make even less enthusiastic language learners smile, at least, a time or two.

Not only does this collection promise poems surrounding language, it holds poems with titles to cover every letter of the alphabet. There are almost 60 poems in these pages, and while many do directly dance around things such as assonance or punctuation, others simply endear or poke fun. Word play meets clever twists and silliness, and still, there are even a couple deep thoughts in store. Each one is listed in a table of contents at the beginning of the book for easy search purposes. 

Each page holds a poem with a fitting illustration. These are drawn in a manner, which keeps light-hearted thoughts near and helps to make the poems clear. The illustrations are simple, bright and bold, letting the poems themselves shine and stay at the forefront of each page. 

Most of the poems are short, clever, and many poke fun. They are easy to read and digest, which makes them nice for even reluctant-poetry readers. While I wasn't a total fan of the very first poem, the rest were entertaining...which shows that there's something for everyone, and of course, not everyone will like every one. (No play on words intended) It's a light read, makes a nice read-aloud, and is a great way to add a bit of fun poetry in a class setting or for individual fun.

And here she is...

Mary Ann Hoberman is a former Children’s Poet Laureate and a winner of the National Book Award. During her tenure as Children’s Poet Laureate, Ms. Hoberman visited numerous classrooms and libraries, introducing both children and adults to the joys of reading and memorizing poetry. She is the author of more than forty books for children, including All Kinds of Families! and the award-winning You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series.

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