Title: Ode to Underwear
Author: Helaine Becker
Illustrator: Mike Boldt
Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Word Count: 166 (by my count, although there are a few hyphenated compound words that I wasn’t sure how to count)
Summary: Really, the title says it all.
For this book I am going to be looking at the element of Rhyme. (It’s about time, you’d think considering how much I love rhyming books, I would’ve tackled one before now, but apparently most of the rhyming books I own are more than ten years old – what can I say, I’m a sucker for the classics.)
Let’s start by looking at the first quatrain:
Let’s hear it for our underwear,
Our fun-to-wear best underwear!
It keeps us warm and dry down there.
So give a cheer for underwear.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – here I am using it as an example of rhyme, and Becker’s gone and rhymed underwear with underwear two out of three times. But that is where her genius lies. Read this aloud to a child. Better yet, to a couple of kids. I guarantee you by the time you get to the third repetition of ‘underwear’ they will have dissolved into giggles. (The only way it could have been better would be if she had used ‘underpants’ – it’s a funnier word – but there are fewer rhymes for that.) And although she uses the word underwear throughout the book, she doesn’t rhyme it with itself again.
I’ve listed the rest of the rhymes below:
Drawers/adores (I really like the word play in this one, because although the “drawers”in the ode refer to underwear, the illustration has the underwear jumping out of dresser drawers)
Baggy/saggy (get that image out of your head)
Glow/show (with an extra rhyme in the illustration “Oh no!”)
Becker ends with a final quatrain that mirrors the original:
So grab your very favourite pair,
Wave them high now, if you dare –
Just be sure you have a spare –
And give three cheers for underwear!
We just got this book last week, and already I think we’ve read it twenty times. My kids love the rhymes, the silly illustrations, and the fact that I’m saying the word “underwear” over and over again. It’s a definitely a fun read for kids, and those of us who have the mentality of kids (hee hee, underwear!)
Well, that’s it for 14:14. Tune in tomorrow to see some other musings inspired by reading all these great PBs.