Saturday, August 16, 2008

There Was a Man Who Loved a Rat and Other Vile Little Poems by Gerda Rovetch and illustrated by Lissa Rovetch

At the age of 83, Gerda Rovetch has published her first book in collaboration with her daughter. The poems are a short four lines each and resemble a limerick with their jaunty rhyme and humorous subject matters. Limericks were made popular by Edward Lear in the 19th Century and in later years were often associated with bawdy humor. Rovetch stays true to the spirit of Lear’s nonsense poems. Her characters find abandoned kidneys, stuff sardines down their pants, and attack people with lobsters. The illustrator’s art work complements the poems beautifully and is reminiscent of some of Edward Gorey’s illustrations. Gorey also illustrated for Lear and another great nonsense master, Hilaire Belloc. The original art was done on paper plates and the poems and illustrations are “served” opposite each other on round white circles with colorful backgrounds. I can imagine everyone from kindergarteners up enjoying these silly verses. Older students – and their teachers—might have fun trying to write them.

3 comments:

Lissa Rovetch said...

Thank you SO much for your generous words.
You rock!

MmeT said...

Lissa,
You are welcome. I read your book to my 5/6 graders and they loved it. Some started spontaneously writing limericks during Writer's Workshop. This review was originally written for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. I look forward to future publications!

Esme Raji Codell said...

Nice post...and nice blog! Thanks for your good work in the world!