14:14 Blog Challenge Day 14

Underwear

Title: Ode to Underwear
Author: Helaine Becker
Illustrator: Mike Boldt
Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Year: 2013
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:

Lacy/horse-racy

Sheer/rear

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)

Bare/underwear

Baggy/saggy (get that image out of your head)

Frilly/silly

Kind/behind

Share/underwear

Shorts/sports

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.

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3 comments

  1. Oh my gosh, so hilarious! Love the cover too! I will search high and low for this one. And hey, sometimes you have to adopt the mentality of kids to write for them. Yes? Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. I love how that opening stanza repeats underwear 3x. It makes it seem like it’s a limerick almost. And the last phrase, “So give a cheer for underwear” basically labels it as a chant. Also, I get the feeling of THREE CHEERS FOR UNDERWEAR. Love the drawers/adores rhyme too! I just saw another book recently about underwear. Can’t remember though. Just did a search, and apparently is quite a popular topic. Hmmm…

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