I enjoy poetry. But recently I have concluded that I need fun and lighter poetry. Yet, I want it to be adult aimed. The Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and Others fits all categories but being only adult geared. However, I do not think a child would mind sharing their poetry book, nor the adult either. These poems were the best of both worlds. Oh sure, maybe they could have been a smidgen more serious, but what was grabbing me was that they were seriously funny with a hint of “hey! This might be something to think about.” The publisher description is more mature with its “covering thinking and the brain, identity and being a person, nature and the seasons.” But I like my way better.
Robert Schechter and S. Federico (illustrator) created humor, puns, seriousness, and facts. Maybe one could compare it a bit to Shel Silverstein, but more Jack Prelutsky comes to mind. They are serious enough to have the adults saving and quoting them (or that was just me). The title poem is about how the poem is literally saying things that have never been said before. The one about army ants makes a joke about how they are too small to hold a gun or salute. There are some pieces of misinformation that we realize might be so off the mark to be absurd, but maybe (just maybe) it is true. And ones like the wind and autumn leaves could be relatable. And there is so much more on the pages, too.
The art leans the way of Silverstein with simplistic basicness. They are familiar and new. They fit the story the poem is telling and tell a little bit more to what you are reading as well. I read this via a reader copy online (due April 2023), but I am assuming things are fairly fleshed out, and will be black and white imagery.
I do not recommend reading this in one sitting. Therefore, if you are reading to a child, read three or four pages a night. There is much to mull over, and it might not be fair to shirk one over another. Of course, not all poems will be hits, but all poems will have a listener/reader.