Python Play and Other Recipes for Fun

Description

48 pages
$18.95
ISBN 0-7737-3213-6
DDC jC811'.54

Year

1999

Contributor

Illustrations by Karen Patkau
Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is also the
author of The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese Women’s Lives, Kurlek, and
Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Hom

Review

Robert Heidbreder’s delightfully zany poems are cheerfully imaginative
yet remain firmly anchored in children’s experience. Most are based on
everyday activities from skipping and baseball to climbing jungle gyms,
biking, and hopscotch. Onomatopoeia is a frequent device, as in “A
Muddy Monster,” which begins “sticky icky crud crud crud / ooey
gooey mud mud mud / gloopy gloppy goo goo goo / mud mud mud I’ll play
in you!”

Children’s exuberance and seemingly untiring energy is caught in many
poems, from “Somersaulting the Seasons” to “Rollerblading
Blues.” Sad and angry moods are projected (and worked out) in poems
like “Losing My Marbles” and “Skipping Out.”

Names, a staple of epic verse, can also make comic lists, as in “I
lost my marbles / in a game of keepsies, / my cat’s eyes, / my
clearies / I lost my heapsees, / my corkscrews, bumboozers, my milkie
peewees, my puries, my glassies, my shiny steelies....” Skipping
becomes the chosen release of an angry young girl as she chants “SNIP
SNAP A TAPPITY TIP / I SKIP AT A SUPER SKIPPING CLIP.”

Karen Patkau’s colorful illustrations, which vibrate with energy and
humor, range from a moody evening silhouette to the racing of
wheelchairs. Python Play should please kids from 4 to 8. Recommended.

Citation

Heidbreder, Robert., “Python Play and Other Recipes for Fun,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18529.