Ages 6 and up Douglas Florian's new book of poems is silly. And goofy and clever and playful. In other words, Laugh-eteria is a perfect book for any young reader who wants a laugh. Most of the poems in this collection are written with rhyming couplets or alternate rhyming lines, so there is a certain sameness. But Florian rises above that by writing in a variety of styles and voices. He includes a dialogue poem between two ogres trying to decide which is better. The opening lines: We've lots of warts./We're very bad sports./We drip with drool./We lose our cool. List poems capture a playful rhyme. Some use internal rhyme, like Inventions I'd Like to See : A bully-pulley/A diaper-wiper/A teacher screecher/A cold-feet-heater. Others, like Don't, use the more conventional end rhyme: Don't slurp/Your soup/Don't burp/Don't stoop. And there are a handful of limericks that Edward Lear would applaud. Florian knows that poetry is meant to be read aloud, so he packs his poems with word play that lets the poems sing, like the opening lines of Graffiti, Graffiti : Graffiti, graffiti/On sidewalk and streeti/On glass and concreeti/And on subway seati. Make no mistake about it, Florian knows kids, so he writes about things that tickle their funny bones monsters, food, dinosaurs, and smelly feet. His Monster Menu features Staple soup seasoned to taste/With iron fillings and nuclear waste. His Baseball Bats have beady eyes./They're very good at catching flies. And Arithmetickle ends with the battle cry, Let's leave mathematics/ Forgotten in the attics! To top it all off, Florian has illustrated his poems with black-and-white drawings, done in broad strokes with a fat marker. Another kid-friendly touch. So, be advised: If you give this book to a young reader, be prepared for him or her to come back to you and say, You gotta hear this one. Paul B. Janeczko writes poetry for young readers and works with school children as a visiting poet.

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