Harcourt Brace and Company, Hardcover, 9780152059989, 32pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
There's a slobbery thug in town, and his name is Stanza. He bullies everybody. He eats chicken pot pie. And . . . he writes poetry. On the sly. At night. Because he’s extremely afraid his bully brothers will find out. But Stanza doesn't let that stop him from entering one of his poems into a jingle contest. Does he win? Well, what if he did . . . not?
"Davis’s hilariously busy watercolor illustrations, complete with graphic elements like speech bubbles and dream sequences, are a neat match for Esbaum’s rhythm and rhyme, though it’s distinctly odd to see the clothed, anthropomorphized pups nipping bottoms.” Young writers and poets may well enjoy watching Stanza’s creative process, however, and might even be inspired to write poems of their own."--Kirkus Reviews "In an ending worthy of Hollywood, Stanza helps his brothers Fresco and Dirge unleash” their own creative talentspainting and musicand the whole neighborhood becomes a happier place. The jaunty rhyming text and the buoyant illustrations fit the story perfectly. Even when the dogs are at their most menacing, there is an inherent cheerfulness. Muted watercolor, acrylic, and ink cartoon-style figures surrounded by all manner of objects pleasantly fill the street scenes."--Booklist "Clever, pleasing illustrations augment this oft-told tale of staying true to one’s self without fear of recrimination. The message, though well seasoned, is refreshed by lively characterizations of Stanza, his brothers, and the people around them. Children will delight in the details that are often hidden on the page. Rhyming verse makes this an especially fine read-aloud, but the real fun is in up-close scrutiny of the illustrations. A welcome addition to a collection or unit about self-esteem and self-realization."--School Library Journal