The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by James Stevenson was first published in 1984! Like Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (published in 1974!) I assumed that The New Kid on the Block is a book that everyone knows about. However, this year HarperCollins reissued a very nice (and very nicely priced) edition of this classic and Prelutsky's other bestselling book, A Pizza the Size of the Sun, so I thought I'd share it here. Like Silverstein, Prelutsky is a curious poet with masterful rhyming skills and a nose for the sillier things in the world. I like to think of him as Silverstein light - Prelutsky doesn't get as odd or dark as Silverstein does. Prelutsky likes to play with words where Silverstein likes to play with ideas, although the two poets do their fair share of playing with both.
With titles like "Bleezer's Ice Cream," "Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face," "When Tillie Ate the Chili" and "Boing Boing Squeak," you can't go wrong. Prelutsky wonders if oysters sneeze and ponders boneless chicken, glue and an alley cat with one life left in his poems. The New Kid on the Block is definitely the kind of book your kids will pick up and read from then want to read out loud to you. I'll share one poem and accompanying illustration below, and look for a few more from The New Kid on the Block as I celebrate National Poetry Month.
Source: Review Copy