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Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue
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Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  120 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Have you ever gotten tripped up trying to say a silly succession of similar syllables? Of course-everyone has!It can be sometimes frustrating, but it's always funny! For example, you know New York's unique, but did you know that unique New York's also pretty chic? And if you switched your wristwatch with a new Swiss watch, could you tell which wristwatch was which?

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Disney-Hyperion
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My family are big fans of Agee's Dmitri the Astronaut and Milo's Hat Trick, and we looove this exhausting collection of tongue twisters (e.g. "Mixed Biscuits"; "Knapsack Straps") and nonsense rhymes, to wit:

Walter Witter called a waiter: "Waiter, over here!
I want some water, waiter. Water, waiter! Is that clear?"
The waiter brought some water. Walter Witter shouted: "WRONG!
This water's really watered-down! I like my water strong!"
The waiter brought more water. Walter Witter was upset.
"This water'
I am soooo in love with this book! The poems are a riot--and occasionally brilliant in language and structure.

So many of the poems in this collection are a perfect synthesis of language, intent and humor. I often use tongue twisters in warm-ups and as verbal exercises in my theater classes (my favorites are from Gilbert & Sullivan and Dr. Seuss) and I will be adding several of Agee's works from this book beginning this fall.

"Orangutan Tongs," itself is a feast for the lips,the tongue,the jaw
Alisha Funkhouser
Agee, J. (2009). Orangutan tongs: Poems to tangle your tongue. New York, N.Y.: Disney/Hyperion Books.

School Library Journal Review


This book actually contains about 80 or more poems. All of them are tongue twisters. I liked this book because it shows a variety of ways to write poetry, however, I tongue twisters are hard to get through, especially when reading so many of them. Each poem is different and I couldn't find a common thread among them, besides that they are all tongue twisters. Th
This book offers an entertaining collection of tongue-twisting poems that are fun to read aloud. The rhyming alliteration is very tricky at times, and our girls got more enjoyment out of listening to me perform the verbal gymnastics than by trying it themselves. The results were quite humorous.

The colorful, cartoonish illustrations by the author complemented the poems nicely. And I was a bit surprised that we were able to read the entire book at one time - usually we take a few days to read a po
A great mix of tongue twisters and poems, this book is such fun to read! Agee creates silly poems that will have your tongue either dancing in delight or knotted in despair. That is if you can even get through the lines without giggling. There are classic twisting combinations like Unique New York but others look so very innocent until you attempt them.

Agee is a master at word play and that is clear in this book of poems. If you have a group of kids who claim not to enjoy poetry, this is a grea
Edward Creter
Book of tongue twisters and tingue twusters that should have kids busy speaking in tongues for least tongues that'll curl inward after much use!
Rhyming and some alliteration
Some of the poems are good but some of them are not. This book could be good if you read maybe one poem a day or something.
Tantalizing tongue twisters to tickle your tongue! Here's a sample:
"It's a pity pretty Patty Petty parted ways with Pete.
He was picky, partly protly, but particularly sweet.
They were such a pleasant couple as they pedaled down the street.
It's a pity Pretty Patty Petty parted ways with Pete."

The reading level is fairly low, but the verses can be used with upper elementary children to practice fluency. The quality is uneven, but many verses are humorous, and I think children will enjoy them.

Breanna Haynes
Orangutan Tongs by Jon Agee is a wonderful poetry book for young readers. The entire book is filled with poems in varying lengths that are meant to be tongue twisters. The tongue twisters are well written, funny, and easy to read to younger readers. You may get mixed up reading some of the words, but that is the fun of this book. I think that this book would be wonderful for intermediate level readers, because the words are simple while the tongue twisters make the reading a little bit more chal ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Luann rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Luann by: JLG
This is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's Oh Say Can You Say? and Fox in Socks, although maybe not quite as crazy! :) This is definitely a fun one for kids to read aloud and repeat again and again. My favorite is "Walter and the Waiter." The illustrations are simple and unremarkable.
Christine Jensen
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Elementary

Format: Picture Book

Awards: Horn Book Fanfare (2009), Book Links Editors Choice (2009)

An amusing and lighthearted collection of poems that double as tongue twisters. Many selections would be fun to use for playful choral reading and to use for word work that emphasizes word beginnings, word endings, and rhymes. Also good for expanding vocabulary.
Lillian Cristina Loys
Genre: Poetry

Awards: None

Grade Level: K-2

How to use: This would be a great book to use when having fun with letters and their sounds, sounding words out quickly, the kids will get tongue tied with some poems and then break them down to each and every word, making it a fun activity for kids to be able to get out of their typical learning text books and read something humorous.
Jun 25, 2009 Amanda added it
Shelves: kid-s-books
I've like Jon Agee's other books and illustrations so I picked this one up. The subtitle makes me think of the Jack Prelutsky or similar poetry books for children that I've loved, so I hope it's as good as I imagine.

Not as fun as Prelutsky, but tongue twisting all over the place. For kids who like to hear you befuddled, this should make them laugh.
Meh. April is National Poetry Month, so I pulled this off the display. I don't mind that Agee's visual style is simple and cartoonish. But it bugged me like anything that the titular "tongs" were in fact drawn as chopsticks. Did no one notice? It's not bad, but it wouldn't be my first choice for tongue-twisters.

Library copy
Very, very, very funny poetry.
I read this to my niece and nephew a couple nights ago. They "got" a couple of the poems (and liked the illustrations) ... but some of it sort of went over their heads.
I would not suggest anyone dumb down children's literature. But don't make it so out there that they just don't get it.
Ian Overway
Picture Book 2)
This is a great book of poems and tong twister. All of which are not only humorous but also have educational. Many of these poems can be used as the read aloud for a mini lesson in, poetry, alliteration, onamonapia, and more.
The illustrations are bold and simple as if drawn by young artists.
This is a great colletion of tongue twisters and I am very impressed with the entire collection, mostly because every one of them is fresh and new. No Sally selling seashells in this book! It was a lot of fun bungling the words as I went from page to page.
Fun tongue-twisting poems, enjoyable mostly for the sounds. Like in "Dodos":
"A dodo'll dawdle, a dodo'll diddle,
A dodo'll doodle a doodle or two."

Kids will have fun trying to read these aloud.
Abby Johnson
Jon Agee's signature clear, funny illustrations accompany these tongue-twisting poems. Some are more fun than others and kids always enjoy tongue twisters. Poems are based on common tongue twisters.
this book is really fun to read to/with kids. i especially like hearing sam read it. we have checked it out from the library several times and will check it out again i am sure. the kids love it too.
I child happing states that "She got our tongues twisted, that's what she did today."
Of all the tales, they were happiest to get caught with "Purple-Paper People" and "Undies."
Have you ever gotten tripped up trying to say a silly succession of similar syllables? Try out these hilarious tongue twisters for lots of fun!
Tongue twisters are always a favorite with my students and a great way to introduce them to poetry. My favorite was "Undies".
Awesome tongue twisters!!!! They didn't have my personal favorite tongue twister in there, but it's still stellar anyways.
Lots of fun tongue twisters that will get kids interested in language & reading, even if they think poetry is boring.
Funny, funny, funny, funny, funny! Try reading these poems aloud and not laughing as you read - I dare you.
Feb 18, 2011 Sophie marked it as to-read
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read it in EL (enhanced learning) class... :) :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is hilarious. We spent days re-reading these classic tongue twisters with my little nieces!
Lots of fun tounge twisting poems, some better than others, my favorite is Rotten Writing.
Poems to tangle your tongue indeed! Silly rhymes and twisted tongues guaranteed.
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