Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator: James Stevenson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
The New Kid on the Block is a collection of poems written about everything from beets to gratitude for having your nose where it is on your body. They are all written from a child’s perspective, making them very relatable for children. Some poems require you to use your imagination, (or maybe even a dictionary) unless you already know what a fleek or a slyne is. Regardless, get ready to giggle at Jack Prelutsky’s funny sense of humor! You will want to start writing your own poems after reading these.
There is one small sketch on every page that coordinates with each poem. Some of Jack Prelutsky’s poems are about things only visible in one’s imagination and sometimes you don’t know exactly what the poem is about until the very last line. The illustrations (besides the cover) are strictly black and white and appear as if they were carelessly drawn with a sharpie and some watercolor when James Stevenson was in a hurry. They take away from children conjuring up those creatures and scenes in their own imagination, as well as letting the reader figure out the mystery in the poem on their own. Teachers may particularly appreciate many of these poems that could be read aloud to a class, regardless of the illustrations.