Trillin, Calvin. No Fair! No Fair! And Other Jolly Poems of Childhood
Illustrated by Roz Chast
September 27th 2016 by Orchard Books
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
This collection of poems brilliantly covers some of children's greatest concerns-- getting shots, dealing with a plethora of stuffed animals at bedtime, learning to tie shoes, and my favorite, "Who Plays What" which asks "But why is she always the sheriff, while I'm always playing her horse?" As the smallest child in my kindergarten, I was always forced to be the baby when the girls played house until I ran off to play pirates with the boys, who were so surprised that they let me boss them around!
Using a variety of poetic forms, and alternating between long narrative poems and shorter snippets of "Complaints", Trillin turns a deft hand to all of the things about childhood that are not jolly. I am very particular about rhyme and scansion of poetry, and I can't find fault with these verses, although purists will categorize this book as verse rather than poetry. Chast's illustrations compliment these poems perfectly and make this book one that will amuse middle grade readers as well as younger ones.
No Fair! No Fair! deserves a place on the shelf next to Viorst's What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About?, Prelutsky's My Dog May Be a Genius and Hirsch's FEG: Ridiculous Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children.