The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse
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The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Have you ever talked at length with an exterminator? Or had a heart-to-heart with an ice sculptor?

Or waxed philosophical with an acrobat?


Well, look inside.
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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I am a huge J. Patrick Lewis fan and I am giving this only 3 1/2 stars. Many of the poems are wonderful, but there were a few that felt clunky, and I had to read them three or more times to try and find the rhythm. I began to feel like something was 'off' with me, but then I realized that No, some of these are just not working meter-wise.

I definately think it is worth the read, to find the few gems, but I also feel like I am more apt to recommend his Swan Song or various other titles over this o...more
The Reading Countess
A cute poetry book about the professions o'the world-would make a fun book to not share the titles and see if the kids can guess the occupation (like a book of riddles).
L13_Allison Safran
I absolutely loved this book! "The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse" is a funny, clever, and creative children's poetry book. It is a creative introduction to poetry form and rhyming words. The book introduces around fifty different jobs and discusses their responsibilities and what they do. The jobs listed in the book include pastry chef, mapmaker, garbage collector, ice sculptor, acrobat, auto mechanic, plumber, banana picker, sunken treasure hunter, birdwatcher, astronom...more
This was a funny book of poetry! I was perusing the poetry section in my library and honestly the title caught my attention. The illustrations were funny and drew you in to the individual poems. The whole book looks at different professions and provides a quick quip for all of them. Personally the "Exterminator" was the cutest one! I would recommend this as a book of fun poetry for my classroom.
Paul  Hankins
One of the reasons that J. Patrick Lewis is the current Children's Poet Laureate--his ability to bring fun and frivolity to a subject that is on the minds of children as soon as THAT question is first asked:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

And in this collection, Lewis explores a number of occupations in his trademark style of humor (including a bad pun here and there).

And at the end of all of this exploration, Lewis remembers to tell children to enjoy the place they are right now. ....more
Bridget R. Wilson
What do you want to be when you grow up? If you don't know, take a look at this zany collection of occupation themed poems.

What I thought: These poems are so fun. The illustrations are perfect. I like that Lewis mixed normal jobs (e.g. librarian) with more unusual ones like a tiger tamer. Not only will kids enjoy these poems, I think they might be inspired to write their own poems about what they want to be when they grow up. The Underwear Salesman will pair well with Steady Hands: Poems About W...more
Sarah Shufelt
J. Patrick Lewis has chosen a title that will appeal to children. His collection of humorous verse focuses on various occupations, from the obscure (baby chick inspector) to the familiar (librarian). No table of contents or index is included, making navigating the collection a challenge. The silly poems are wrought with puns most children will not understand and many of the poems do not flow easily when read aloud. The accompanying digital collage illustrations are unusual in an appealing way,...more
J. Patrick Lewis employs his trademark humor and word play in this poetry collection celebrating all sorts of jobs from auto mechanic to sword swallower. My favorite was "Poet"-- "I take a word and then another,/ Let them get to know each other,/ Exercise them till they learn/ A song to sing, a phrase to turn/ I choose strong verbs right off the bat/ (Since adjectives are high in fat)./ Some words may get excited, nervous,/ But all are glad to be of service."
Abby Johnson
***** Fun fun fun!! Each of the poems in this witty collection is about a different job. From fashion designer to plumber to banana picker to Queen of England, this book is about all sorts of jobs. It also features all sorts of poems. Haikus, limericks, and more. Colorful mixed-media illustrations accompany the poems and add to their whimsy. I'm not a huge poetry fan, but I loved this book and kids will love it, too!
Oct 17, 2009 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A silly, slightly ironic and poetic look at about fifty different occupations. The poems are comparable to Shel Silversteins, with their simple illustrations, creatively spaced words, and some made up words in the name of rhyme. We enjoyed this book, but we had to read small bits of it over the course of several evenings. A great book for the guidance counsellor in all of us.
Kim Patton
I can't wait to use this book of poetry with my classes. With a funny poem for normal occupations and strange jobs too, this is an entertaining book. Highway Line Painter? "To keep you out of trouble, fellow, I like to paint lines double yellow." Exterminatory? "I come to de-bug What's under de rug." Fun book!
Amy Carr
Very clever book of poetry about all the different jobs children could choose to do when they grow up. Loved some poems better than others but thought the overall writing was good, the illustrations are very fun and quirky, and the jobs are unusual prompting some fun conversations with your kids!
Heather Weiner
Poems that describe various occupations. Illustrations are humorous and so are the poems that tell about the jobs of underwear salesman, elevator operator, belly dancer, crossword puzzle maker and other unusual and not so unusual jobs.
With a title like this, grade school kids can't wait to pick it up! Lewis has crafted poems about occupations: some unique, some seemingly mundane until you read the poems. The bright, engaging illustrations add to the fun.
Morgan Beveridge
I thought that this book would be a good book to read to young children to give them a good laugh. I think for an elementary school teacher, this book would be perfect to read between lessons to let the children relax a bit.
(Poetry) In verse, this book tells of jobs in a fun way...some jobs are more common then others. Would be a good writing prompt to get young students to start thinking about what they want to do when they grow up.
I actually liked this book. It is a short, easy read. Its actually kind of funny too. The pictures are great! The poetry was great too. This book is mainly for kids ages 8 and up.
Adrienne Furness
The poems are witty and also open up the world and its possibilities. The title and Bloch's art are likewise winning. I don't think it's going to sit on the shelves much.
Beautiful illustrations accompany these poems about different occupations. To long to be considered for story time but individually they are funny too.
Amanda Jackson
This book was unique and it was really good. I liked this book because it was funny, and I think boys in early childhood would like this book.
Loved it! Nice selection of poems, from long to short, in a wide variety of styles. Illustrations are superb and merit recognition.
Poems for children about various occupations...this is really funny and the illustrations are excellect!
We really enjoyed this clever poetry book about different occupations.
It was great. It was so funny and some of it was even about underpants.
Witty poems about different occupations, perfect for read aloud!
Fun poems. Fun pictures.
MrsMaryLibrary marked it as to-read
May 31, 2014
Mightyguy marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2014
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J. Patrick Lewis is the current Children's Poet Laureate. He has written more than seventy children's books, including Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses. J. Patrick Lewis lives in Ohio.
More about J. Patrick Lewis...
Please Bury Me in the Library Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar! Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems

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