CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 22. . . .February 8, 2013
Neil Crone, a Canadian actor and comedian, has turned his attention to writing "stories in verse for big & little kids." In this collection of 40 poems, Crone explores childhood from a humourous perspective. He deals with various trials and tribulations of daily life, such as overdue library books, aggressive dogs, nicknames, food spills, and haircuts. There are also several poems about individuals, such as Hiram the Private Pirate, Dr. Prentice (the Mouse's Dentist), and Narrative Ned.
The title of this book, based on the poem "Who Farted?", will definitely appeal to those who enjoy toilet humour. In this poem, Crone uses invented versions of common words such as "shooted" for "shot." Even though these words conform to his rhyme scheme, it is an unfortunate use of language in a world where technology often encourages young people to ignore correct grammar and spelling. Should poetry ignore it as well? Many of the poems also resort to insulting language for comic effect. In "Nick Name," some of the "neat" names include "Stinky feet," "Putty Nose," and "Boogers Thompson." The title of the poem appears as "Nickname" in the Table of Contents, but as "Nick Name" in the text. Which one is correct? Wes Tyrell's illustrations appear in black and white, but they add little graphic appeal to the text because they are simplistic and flat in tone.
Once again, the title of this poem appears as "Hiram the Private Pirate" in the Table of Contents, but as "Hiram The Private Pirate" in the text. Which one is correct? "Handsome Hank" tells the story of a tractor with "good looks" in 12 long stanzas. Would readers really be interested in a pompous tractor?
Recommended with reservations.
Myra Junyk, a literacy advocate and author, resides in Toronto, ON.
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