Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Siblings Day: Alan Katz and OOPS

One week from today: The Poetry Round Up at the Texas Library Association annual convention. One of the featured poets will be Alan Katz, a multiple-Emmy-nominee for his work on The Rosie O'Donnell Show and Disney's Raw Toonage as well as several editions of the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, Kids Are People Too, Nickelodeon projects, network specials, and game shows. He has also written hundreds of comic books, trading cards and other special projects for kids and their parents. He lives with his journalist wife, Rose, and their four children in Weston, Connecticut. His poetry is part nonsense rhyme and part sing along silly songs, including:

Take Me Out of the Bathtub. Margaret K. McElderry, May, 2001.
I’m Still Here in the Bathtub. Margaret K. McElderry, April, 2003.
Where Did They Hide My Presents? Margaret K. McElderry, October, 2005.
Are You Quite Polite. Margaret K. McElderry, 2006.

His newest book is Oops! (Margaret K. McElderry, 2008) illustrated with wonderfully cranky cartoons by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Edward Koren. Katz lampoons kids’ foibles, as well as parents and grownups of all stripes and types. I particularly like the last 30 pages of the book (the “Oops, There’s More!” section) where Katz lets the reader into his poetry process, sharing his first poem from fourth grade, photographs of childhood report cards, awful sketches, and hilarious stream of consciousness poet musings. Check it out. And in honor of National Siblings Day, enjoy this poem by Katz from Oops:

No Sale
by Alan Katz

I put my brother on eBay,
but nobody made a bid.
Perhaps it’s ‘cause I listed him
as “A Really Stinky Kid.”

I knew it’d be hard to sell him,
but not quite as hard as this.
I think I’d better lower the price…
and maybe throw in our sis.

From Oops (Margaret K. McElderry, 2008, p. 68)

Picture credit: and Amazon

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