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Cover image for Missile toe : a very confused Christmas
Missile toe : a very confused Christmas
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
Ann Arbor, MI : Sleeping Bear Press, [2017]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 29 cm
This collection of silly poems show classic Christmas carols and traditions reimagined through the eyes of a very confused kid.
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Christmas can be a very confusing holiday. Just what are sugarplums anyway?! This collection of silly poems show classic Christmas carols and traditions reimagined through the eyes of a very confused kid. With illustrations from the hysterical Marty Kelley, this is a perfect pick for a holiday full of belly laughs.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-This collection of ridiculous poems inspired by images in traditional Christmas lore and misinterpreted carol lyrics opens with a young bespectacled boy musing, "I know Jesus and Santa and Rudolph's nose./I know about Frosty when he came unfroze./I know Dasher and Dancer, Comet and Cupid./But sometimes I feel like I'm Christmas stupid." The 12 selections are by turns clever, nonsensical, completely unrelated to the holiday, and downright irreverent. The most successful offering is "Beth the Ham," about a girl cast as a lamb with no lines in the annual pageant who steals the show with jokes, dancing, and juggling. The most-likely-to-offend selection is "Round John Verjun," centered on a portly man who stumbles into the manger scene of "Silent Night" looking for a snack. There's no wrap-up musing to tie it all together, and though Kelley's illustrations are skillful and amusing, Scillian's attempt to channel a child's befuddled imagination seems somewhat forced. VERDICT Purchase for fans of Scillian's other books or for sophisticated kids who appreciate MAD Magazine-style satire.-Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Puns and misheard Christmas carol lyrics abound in this goofy collection of a dozen holiday-themed poems from news anchor and children's book author Scillian. Writing mostly in rhymed couplets, he contemplates the mysteries of what decking the halls means and what sugarplums are before moving on to poems with titles like "Beth the Ham" (about a spotlight-hogging sheep in a school play), "Wild Shepherds Washed Their Flocks by Night," and "Round John Verjun," about a mystery guest at the stable in Bethlehem ("Joseph leans in. 'How do you do?/ I hate to be rude, but who are you?'"). The rhymes tend to be corny, but there are some winners in the bunch ("Angels we half heard on high, mumbling something in the sky"), and Kelley's energetic pencil-and-watercolor images tap into the atmosphere of silliness. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Twelve contrived poems riff on Christmas carols, words, or phrases, interpreting them as children might mishear them. Bethlehem becomes "Beth the Ham," as Beth grabs the spotlight in the school play; "O, Holey Knight" features a knight wearing armor that looks like Swiss cheese. Appreciation of the groan-worthy textual humor relies on prior knowledge kids may not have, but the illustrations are mildly amusing. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A dozen humorous poems are inspired by Christmas-related words or phrases as a child might mishear them. The cover and related title poem, "Missile Toe," focus on a soccer player by that name. He is a boy with brown skin who always leaps too high and misses scoring. This time, he still leaps but gently taps the ball in as the other players "hugged and kissed beneath Missile Toe." Most of the other poems focus on traditional Christmas songs, with some sort of humorous twist on the title or a line from the song as the poem's theme, as in the poems "O Holey Knight" and "The Wee Kings of Orientar." The poem "Deck the Halls" riffs on a phrase that many a child has found mysterious. There is no title page or author's note to identify the original songs. Most of the poems require a level of background knowledge that is beyond the capacity of the intended audience, and the humor would need to be explained to children. A few poems stand on their own, such as "Johnny Oats Ate Nicholas," about a puppy named Johnny Oats who eats Nicholas the guppy (though it may take saying the title a few times to understand the sonic confusion), and "I'll Be a Gnome for Christmas." Amusing, action-filled illustrations include children of different ethnicities. Santa is white; the Wise Men have brown skin. The subtitle for the book is "A Very Confused Christmas," and many young readers will indeed be confused. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.