In this "handy guide/ (For children overqualified/ For boring jobs"), Lewis (Doodle Dandies) and the sublime Bloch (Butterflies in My Stomach) catalogue some of the more esoteric professions. There's the crossword puzzle maker ("I make up clues for/ 'Olive' (green), / 'Lentil or garbanzo' (bean)" and the titular specialty haberdasher ("You wear them briefly/ And in short,/ I sell them chiefly/ For support"); the center spread salutes the marathon runner with a poem set into the map of a course. Lewis deserves applause for his sophisticated wordplay and his willingness to push readers in terms of poetic conceits: anyone who attempts to explain to kids what a philosopher does--in verse, no less--deserves a paean himself. It's a shame, then, that poems that start out so promisingly often run out of steam and wrap up with weak jokes (a pet groomer bemoans a customer who forgets "toupee"; a plumber works in "Inside The Twoilet zone"). Bloch's wonderful digital collages save the day: his signature combination of piquant ink doodles and witty found objects lends elegant playfulness to every page. Ages 7-10. (Mar.)[Page 60]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 4-8--Forty-nine poems describe nearly as many occupations, several of them nontraditional--ice sculptor, acrobat, bridge painter, belly dancer. As in his previous collections, Lewis has included a variety of styles: rhyming pairs, quatrain, limerick, series of rhyming words. His talent for tongue-in-cheek wordplay ("I give my bulldog a quick/Tug-of-warning!"--"Dog Trainer"), illustrative description ("A sixty-mile-an-hour mole/On automatic cruise control"--"Subway Driver"), and alternative format such as poetic conversation in two voices ("Ventriloquist" and "Morning Talk-Show Hosts") show youngsters that poetry can take many forms. Bloch's digital collage illustrations appear to be black-ink or marker doodles of various sizes, many filled in with color and others enhanced with wrinkled paper, yarn, plastic eyes, bits of cloth, or realia mentioned in the accompanying poems. Their bright colors; odd little details; and, in some instances, childlike appearance add tremendous appeal to the selections. This finely crafted, entertaining volume should find a place in most collections.--Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, Ohio[Page 149]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.