By: Robert Hoyman
Illustrated by: Steve Feldman
Publisher: Pony Express Publications
Publication Date: March 2019
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: September 10, 2020
Debut author Robert Hoyman has hit the proverbial ball out of the park with his first book, Limerick Comics.
Limerick Comics is an absolutely unique blend of a comic-style format (and illustrations!) and catchy limericks that tell short and witty tales. Kids love comics so the format is a natural draw for them, and while not all children are drawn to poetry, limericks offer a lighthearted introduction to the genre through short and goofy rhymes. Combine the two and kids who are averse to poetry won't even realize they're falling in love with the genre. Now add in fantastic illustrations, in the comic format (kudos to Steve Feldman, the illustrator), and this book is certain to be a hit with readers age 8 and up.
The book follows the standard format of limericks which is a stanza of five lines, with one limerick/tale per page. Every page has six blocks, five of which are for a portion of the limerick and an illustration. Below that is a block of text that explains the science, or history, behind the topic.
One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that the topics are so varied. Limerick Comics tackles science, history, and even some general knowledge topics (food fight anyone?) so there's sure to be something for everyone. First you're reading about jesters in the Middle Ages, and then, turn the page...and you're reading about slugs:
A popular slug known as Saul,
Staged marathon climbs up the wall.
He didn't win races,
Though charming and gracious,
Encouraged and favored by all.
This is followed by the block of text which gives all sorts of information on slugs. I admit that I didn't know slugs have green blood and only one lung. Move on to the next page where you'll learn about the first person to perform the flying trapeze act, Jules Leotard. Does that last name sound familiar? Yes, the tight-fitting leotard outfits that trapeze artists wear were named after him. I admit that I learned something on almost every page. Some of the other topics covered in this fantastically fun book are the pony express, ants, food fights, cavemen, cement, blobfish, clowns and chimpanzees. Yes, the topics are that varied. Finally, on the last page is a glossary of terms that readers may not be familiar with.
When I was first given this book to review, I was a bit hesitant as I thought it might be difficult to write a review about limericks. But then I started to explore the book and fall in love with every page. It's that good. The author has done a great job of creating funny limericks that follow the five-line rhyme format in which the first, second and fifth lines rhyme, and the third and fourth lines rhyme. Nothing is forced; they all flow freely. As mentioned above, the illustrations are a perfect fit for this book - bright, somewhat silly, and with a comic-style appeal. The "factoid" section of each page isn't just a few lines of related text but instead gives useful information. In fact, they can certainly be used as a starting point for doing research on any of the topics in the book. In short, Limerick Comics is a perfect book for engaging kids and getting them to learn in a creative and enjoyable way.
Quill says: Limerick Comics is such a fun, and surprisingly informative book! You really need to add this one to your child's reading list and while you're at it, read it yourself - it's so much fun you don't want to miss it!
For more information on Limerick Comics, please visit the book's website at: www.limerickcomics.com