Friday, April 2, 2010

Performance Poetry

Performance Poetry
Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs
by Alan Katz and Illustrated by David Catrow

Katz, Alan. 2001. Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs. Ill. by David Catrow. New York: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0439434122

Book Review
Children of all ages will love the wild and crazy antics that appear throughout this hilarious collection of “silly dilly” songs and rhymes. Each nonsensical poem takes the reader on an amusing musical journey. Every poem is hard to predict with Katz providing just the right touch at making each poem a memorable event with a surprise snappy ending. Catchy rhyming words and easy to follow musical beats to familiar childhood tunes like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” will allow each child to experience complete success and fun, while leaving the reader or listener begging for more.

Whimsical and wacky pictures perfectly accentuate each poem with busy full page spreads filled with zany details to match these crazy poems. Artist David Catrow delivers comic strip like illustrations with a blend of beautiful watercolors, colored pencils, and ink pen outlines. The colorful shades of paints add to the explosive quality of the entire book, which leads readers to side splitting laughter from start to finish. Children will fall over laughing at the sight of the innocent butt cheeks from a boy who roller blades in a bathtub, or the bulging yellow eyes from an irritable canine in the poem, “Cranky Poodle.” Katz successfully takes touchy subjects and situations, and turns them into laughable and memorable masterpieces. Smelly diapers, loose shoe laces, and overdue library books are just a few examples of what Katz and Catrow undertake as they lead children through a comical adventure of “silly dilly” outrageous songs.

“Cranky Poodle” is a poem that just about anyone can relate to, whether they are a pet owner, or someone who lives next door to a perturbed pooch or a cranky cat. Share this poem aloud at first, and then display the poem where children have the opportunity to sing along as a group. Have children march to the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” tune to encourage a deeper sense of rhythm. But, be prepared for a lot of laughter and silliness!

Cranky Poodle
(To the tune of “Yankee Doodle”)

Cranky Poodle in my home

Clawing, scratching, howling

Scaring people, scaring cats

Unrolling paper toweling.

Cranky Poodle drives me nuts

Most days I can’t bear it

Wish my folks would trade her for

A hamster or a parrot!

I took Cranky for a walk

Although I hate to mention

She pulled me halfway down the block

To chase a fire engine.

Cranky Poodle, you’re a pest
Wish you were a guppy

Oh no! Guess what mom told me

Our poodle just had puppies!


Everybody has a story about someone they know who is cranky, and children love to share these kinds of stories. Why not create a silly poem about this situation or others covered in this book? Encourage children to create a poem about a cranky pet or other issues mentioned in this book and follow up with a watercolor illustration. These poems can be added to a cranky collection and shared with others. For extra fun, try matching these poems to familiar childhood tunes. Working in small groups would be an exciting experience for all children.

Enjoy other silly songs and ryhmes by Alan Katz:
Are You Quite Polite? Silly Dilly Manners Songs - ISBN 9780689869709
I’m Still Here in the Bathtub: Brand New Silly Dilly Songs - ISBN 9780689845512
On Top of the Potty: And Other Get-Up-and-Go Songs - ISBN 9780689862151
Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs - ISBN 9781416906957

Image Source: Barnes & Noble