Monday, December 14, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Guess Again

Guess Again, by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Adam Rex. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009. Available now.

Guess again!
You gotta guess again,
because your first guess will be WRONG.

I have no idea why this is classified as poetry. It's more like a crazy riddle book. In fact, the riddle section of the library has books of poetry similar to this one, where every line makes sense and the (turn the page) answer to the riddle rhymes with one of the ending words in the 'poem.'

This book seems to be the same thing. A poem which looks like it's made up of two couplets. The first two rhyme, leading you to think the answer to the riddle -- the last word of the fourth phrase -- will rhyme, as well.

Turn the page.
It's so wrong that it makes no sense.
Just why would the pirate's mother be on his shoulder -- when the sentence before ends in "share it," leading you to believe the answer will be Parrot? When the illustration also leads you to believe that there is a parrot on his shoulder.
Gnashing of teeth.
many groans.
Not funny, McGee.

I wonder why this book is classified in the poetry area (where it will get lost, overlooked, ignored) and not in the riddle area where it properly belongs? Your guess is as good as mine.

Even the title page will have librarians guessing, because the Verso material isn't on the Verso. It's facing the Title page.

And what does the robot pictured on the end papers have to do with this book?

If you check the reviews on, you'll find people with an opposite view of this book. One thing I did notice -- all of the favorable reviews there were by parents with boy children. The parents of girls complained that it wasn't funny and their child didn't like it. In-ter-est-ing.

Meet the author and illustrator and get activities at Simon and Schuster's webpage.

The other books being reviewed for Nonfiction Monday are being collected at In Need of Chocolate today.

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