No More Poems!
“A book in verse that just gets worse,” proclaims the subtitle of Rhett Miller’s hilarious new audiobook, No More Poems, and, assuming “worse” is defined as silly and outrageous, the book delivers in spades. Miller, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the alternative country band Old 97’s, uses over-the-top situations and bathroom humor (ample doses of pooping, peeing, burping, and passing gas) to lure young listeners into the magical but too-often neglected world of rhymed verse. Combining the playful rhythms and rhyme schemes of Dr. Seuss and the inventive wordplay and oddball observations of Shel Silverstein, Miller’s poems transform familiar scenes from childhood (doing homework, brushing teeth, fighting with siblings, playing little league baseball) into a world filled with wonder and laughter. It should be noted that Miller’s book is not for everyone. Some parents and children may be uncomfortable with the frequent use of gross-out humor and the occasionally figurative use of violence in the poems. (In one of the earlier poems in the collection, “Brotherly Love,” a mother urges her daughter not to kill her annoying little brother, providing an inventory of the possible methods she might choose.) For those who are a bit more adventurous, however, No More Poems is a spirited, good-natured, often hilarious introduction to the endlessly entertaining possibilities of poetic form. Actor/comedian Nick Offerman, whom many parents will recognize from his role in the popular sitcom, Parks and Recreation, does an admirable job as the reader, delivering Miller’s mischievous verse with a goofy, infectious humor that is certain to appeal to young listeners, but the audio version of Miller’s poetry suffers a bit from the absence of the brilliant illustrations by Dan Santat that helped bring the hard copy version to life.
Running time: 32 minutes
David Shirley ©2019 Parents’ Choice
David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.