The instant New York Times bestseller featured on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon! B. J. Novak (bestselling author of The Book With No Pictures) described this groundbreaking poetry collection as "Smart and sweet, wild and wicked, brilliantly funny--it's everything a book for kids should be."
Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Already lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, Harris's hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries such as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner: from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when "poetic license" gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It's a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It's a mischievous match made in heaven!
"Ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged--and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it! Immediately!" --Judith Viorst, bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
About the Author
Chris Harris is a writer and executive producer for How I Met Your Mother and The Great Indoors, and a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. His pieces have appeared in The New Yorker,Esquire, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. He was also the author of the anti-travel guide Don't Go Europe! He lives in Los Angeles.
Lane Smith wrote and illustrated Grandpa Green, which was a 2012 Caldecott Honor book, and It's a Book, which has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His other works include the national bestsellers Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben, the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, Math Curse, and Science Verse, among others. His books have been New York Times Best Illustrated Books on four occasions. In 2012 the Eric Carle Museum named him an Honor Artist for lifelong innovation in the field of children's books, and in 2014 he received the Society of Illustrators Lifetime Achievement award. Lane and his wife, book designer Molly Leach, live in rural Connecticut.
Praise for I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups:
A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Editors' Choice An NPR Best Book of 2017 An Amazon Best Book of 2017 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017 A News & Observer Wilde Award Book of 2017 A Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth 2017 Selection A Kirkus Best Middle-Grade Books of 2017 Selection School Library Journal's Best Books of 2017 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2017 An Iowa Public Radio Best Children's Books to Give in 2017 100 Scope Notes Top 20 Books of 2017 School Library Journal's Fuse #8 Blog - 2017 Poetry Books for Kids A Nerdies 2017 Selection NCTE's 2018 Notable Poetry Books ALA-ALSC Notable Books for Children List 2018 A 2018-2019 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee A 2018-2019 Maine Student Book Award Nominee A 2018-2019 North Carolina Children's Book Award Junior Book Nominee A 2018-2019 Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Nominee A 2019 Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee
*"A frolicking romp through the zany world of nonsense verse.... Visual, aural, and downright guffaw-inspiring puns and riddles abound in this wildly imaginative and cleverly illustrated debut collection. The inspired and inspiring sense of play knows no bounds." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*"Those who claim to hate poetry will enjoy this riotous compilation.... Fans of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Jack Prelutsky will rejoice in finding another member of their gang. Smith matches Harris's wit with his own zaniness.... A surefire winner for reading aloud or for snickering with under the covers." —School Library Journal, starred review
*"Hits a poetry trifecta: high energy, rhymes that can rival Cole Porter's, and a torrent of ideas...a worthy heir to Silverstein, Seuss, and even Ogden Nash." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"A magnificently wacky romp through verse... This moving, madcap anthem to language is sure to stand the test of time." —Booklist, starred review
*"There's not a dud in the bunch." —The Horn Book, starred review
*"Comedy gold... There's not a dud in the bunch--this is one collection that rewards repeat visits."—The Horn Book, starred review
"This debut collection shines.... Together, this Hollywood writer and award-winning illustrator might just make all of us--the kids and the grown-ups--smile again."—The New York Times
"It's a veritable sundae of delights-layers of puns, word games, visual jokes-that I honestly would give to any kid ages short to tall."
—NPR's Book Concierge
"The title is a lie! This inspired collection of nonsense verse from the executive producer of How I Met Your Mother showcases a rare gift for wacky wordplay."—People
"I am a grown man and this book made me laugh out loud. When I was a kid, this was the kind of book that made me want to make comedy." —Jason Segel, actor, screenwriter, producer, and author of Nightmares!
"This book, with its loony poems and seriously weird illustrations, is ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged--and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it! Immediately!" —Judith Viorst, bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
"Chris Harris is a poet and everyone should know it! Love this book!" —Andrea Beaty, bestselling author of Rosie Revere, Engineer
"There once was a poet named Chris, Whose book is quite hard to dismiss, His poetry skill Gives me quite a thrill, And it's hard to write poetry, particularly if it's supposed to rhyme or fit into a certain rhythm, and if you don't believe me, take a look at this." —Lemony Snicket, bestselling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions
"I doubt that you'll ever read another book this clever, brilliant, or fun--but if you do, you'll say that that book is a Chris Harris-y one." —Esta Spalding, screenwriter and author of Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
"Hate to laugh? Love feeling blue? Are you quite dull? And dreary, too? Too bad, these rhymes are NOT FOR YOU." —Emily Jenkins, author of Upside-Down Magic and Toys Go Out
"Chris Harris is one of the funniest, sharpest, cleverest (not a word) writers I've ever known (and I'm not just saying that because we share a last name). This book made me laugh and laugh and laugh. I can't recommend it enough." —Neil Patrick Harris, actor and author of The Magic Misfits
"Funniest book of the year for kids? Gosh, there's a lot of competition out there but. . . . YES, YES, ALL RIGHT, YOU GOT ME! This is probably the funniest book of 2017 for kids. " —Betsy Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
"Inventive...whimsical...worth adding to your shelf." —The Denver Post
"[A] hilarious, diverse treasury of original poems."—The Buffalo News
"Turns words into playthings and tickles readers' funny bones. If you thought poetry was boring, this book will change your mind." —The Mini Pages
"This delightfully amusing poetry will provide hours, days, even a lifetime of laughter."—Story Monsters Ink
"This collection would make a great addition to any classroom, demonstrating that poetry can be SO much fun!"—Baltimore's Child