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Poetry Adventures: Ode to a Commode Review by Jennifer Ladewig

Concrete Poems
Brian P. Cleary

Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems is a hilariously funny poetry book. The book includes 23 whimsical poems and is 32 pages in length. The paperback version retails for $6.95 and the library bound version is $26.65.

Ode to a Commode features concrete poems, which cover a wide range of themes. What are concrete poems? They are poems that literally take the shape of what the poem is about. For instance, the poem BRRRR is in the shape of a snowman and the wording is written in an icicle font. Concrete poems do not always rhyme. Sometimes the poems focus on descriptive words and phrases. The book is targeted for grades 2-5. As an adult, I found the poems to be entertaining. This book is a great way to get kids of any age excited about poetry. 

My 3rd, 5th, and 8th grade children read through this poetry book. They all really enjoyed the poems. After reading the book, they all set out to create their own concrete poems. What was so great was they didn’t even realize that they were learning along the way. The illustrations were eye-catching. My 5th grader said, “Mom, I didn’t know that poetry could be so fun and entertaining.” My 3rd grader asked me if we could find more books with poems like these. My 8th grader began listing all of the obnoxious, gross, and funny topics that she could make into poems.

I would highly recommend purchasing this book! Ode to a Commode would be a great addition to your child’s library and would also be a great book to give as a gift. Learning doesn’t have to be boring. This book is truly a poetry adventure!

-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017