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Gr. 4-6. Grandits stretches the definition of concrete poetry in this collection, which uses inventive shapes and typefaces to hilarious effect. Each selection is loosely tied to Robert, a kid with ordinary concerns: homework is boring; he would like a new pet; he is crushed when he misses his lay-up in basketball. But Grandits finds wild humour in such things, and the resulting poems will make most kids howl with recognition. There's the pious thank-you letter to an aunt that comes with truthful footnotes: "In the history of sweaters, there has never been an uglier waste of yarn." Then there's the arc of text describing Robert's rocket, constructed from his sister's algebra homework, which showers numbers and mathematical symbols as the explosion hits. "The Autobiography of Murray the Fart," written in lines that flow from a soda can-shaped block to a thin line that turns into intestinelike loops, will, like the other selections in this winning, highly creative collection, convince readers that poetry can be loud, outrageous, gross fun. Gillian Engberg
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