Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, July 22, 2011


As much as many of us love summertime, especially those of us who have had long, cold winters, there is not anything so irritating as pesky mosquitoes.  Those silly, dilly men, Alan Katz and David Catrow, have delivered another volume destined to ignite an explosion of laughter.  Mosquitoes Are Ruining My Summer! And Other Silly Dilly Camp Songs (Margaret K. McElderry Books, April 26, 2011) will have readers singing with gusto and grins.

All the bases are covered here:  the ride to camp, the unlikely bunkmates, meals three times a day which should be food, swarms of mosquitoes, waiting for mail that never arrives, lack of clean clothes, the inevitable camp talent show, muddled arts and crafts, sporting in the water that is only inches deep, the LIMBO, scary stories 'round the campfire, that one kid more odorous than all the rest, the terrors of hiking and finally home again letter in hand that should have been sent days ago.

Sample these excerpts.

To the tune of "Yankee Doodle"
On the bus ride
off to camp,
alone with fifty strangers.
Kids are crying,
Seats are damp.
Ahead...who knows what dangers?...

To the tune of "Skip to My Lou"
...Skip, skip, skip every meal.
Skip, skip, skip every meal.
Skip, skip, skip every meal.
Skip every meal, I warn you!
Lunch---a treat---
mystery goo.
Slurp it up---
no need to chew.
For dessert: devil's food shoe.
Somebody send a pizza!...

To the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel!"
...Dirty, smelly, and I suspect
his armpits will soon flower.
This kid needs to disinfect.
Jim needs a shower....

Fourteen wacky, funny bone tickling verses themselves a delight, elevate to the height of hilarity when sung to traditional American tunes and childhood favorites. 

The vivid and bright, pen, colored pencil and watercolor illustrations of Catrow cajole readers to partake in his exaggerated depiction of life at summer camp.  No one is better at capturing every nuance of expression perfect for the moment at hand.

I envision some bouncing, jazzy, singing story times followed by our own poem creations or perhaps a story of other summer camp days gone awry.

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