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Robert Hoyman
Limerick Comics
Limerick Comics offers lighthearted original limericks on a wide range of history and science topics, each with an informational panel of surprising facts, all presented in entertaining comics. Middle-grade readers age 8 and up are invited to linger on each page to enjoy the humor, ponder inferences, and view the evocative details of each illustrated panel.
Hoyman’s playful but informative debut collection introduces children to the joy of limerick poetry while delivering fun facts about an array of subjects from everyday life and history. Every page contains a fully illustrated limerick mini-comic and additional information about the poem’s meaning, inviting readers to soak up knowledge. The varied topics include the jewelry-packed tombs of ancient Egypt, the origin of roller coasters in Russia, the biological importance of a pesky fruit fly, and Joseph Aspdin’s creation of Portland cement in his own kitchen.

Each illustration employs traditional cartooning, eye-catching colors, and outlandishly hyperbolic imagery that brings some humor to an otherwise ordinary lesson. A glossary is also included to help those who are hungry for learning but may stumble over terms such as bioluminescence and shtick. Alongside pages on science and history, such as one discussing how the first mail systems worked via stagecoach, steamships, and the Pony Express, Hoyman includes limericks about food safety (with vivid illustrations of moldy cheese), the dangers of smoking and benefits of getting adequate sleep, and the role of local government in the community.

Even when discussing complex subjects, Hoyman keeps the language simple (“A caveman all covered with dust/ Could briskly make flint stones combust”). Young readers will have no trouble enjoying and absorbing the entire collection, whether by picking a poem at random or reading from cover to cover. With the subject matter changing from page to page, the book excels at keeping readers’ attention while planting the seeds for an early appreciation of poetry, art, history, science, and civics. This witty and fun little book, displayed on a Kindle or Nook or read by flashlight, is sure to delight any reader who gives it a look.

Takeaway: For young readers and parents alike, this collection of factoid limericks will be a great introduction to poetry while delivering interesting knowledge and good laughs.

Great for fans of Mick Twister’s There Was an Old Geezer Called Caesar: A History of the World in 100 Limericks, Garrison Keillor’s Living with Limericks, the Oxford English Dictionary in Limerick Form project.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A