Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Outside the Box: A Book of Poems” as Want to Read:
Outside the Box: A Book of Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Outside the Box: A Book of Poems

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
This laugh-out-loud poetry collaboration from a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestselling author and a Caldecott Honor illustrator is anything but ordinary.

Dive in to Karma Wilson's latest collection of more than 100 poems: some humorous, some poignant, and all of them Outside the Box. Illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Diane Goode, Outside the Box has something for e
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Outside the Box, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Outside the Box

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Baby sister, roller coaster, imaginary friend. Kite, bat, Christmas tree, bubblegum and sand. Familiar objects and situations are given a sideways tweak in more than one hundred illustrated poems. A kid rats out a classmate - for being a tattle-tale; the scary alien under the bed turns out to be a moldy sandwich; and in an epic poem that recalls the old lady who swallowed the fly, a boy wears his coat upside-down, walks on his hands, sits on his head, and eats from his shoe. That kid is living l ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Ericka added it
Shelves: poems, silly, funny
The poems are silly, funny, delightful, light-hearted, brothers, sisters, growing up and school. Some of the poems are short and some are long.


I hid myself for hide-and-seek
in a place they'd never guess.
I curled up tight, way out of sight,
beneath my mother's favorite dress.
There in the closet, by the shoes,
I never made a single peep.
I waited, waited, waited...
and then I fell asleep.
May 04, 2014 Margie rated it it was amazing
Poets who create for children of any age have a unique gift, the ability to get to the spirit of their subject. They see the world through the eyes of their intended audience. Outside the Box: A Book of Poems (Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division) written by Karma Wilson with illustrations by Diane Goode is a collection sure to appeal to any reader but especially to those who enjoy looking at life through the lens of laughter, thoughtfuln ...more
Nathalie S
Mar 17, 2016 Nathalie S rated it liked it
The fun thing about reading children' poetry books is to find the gem that takes you straight back to your childhood and makes you shake your head in agreement "oh yeah...."


"When you're lying in bed and it's late at night
and there's thumpity-bumps, but no night-light...

When your toes are hanging over the bed
and you tremble and shiver and quake with dread..

When you're sure you will make a midnight snack
for the monster that's shrouded in shadows so black...

Just use the force field t
Andria Hall
Nov 22, 2016 Andria Hall rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Outside the Box is a book of poems written By Karma Wilson with fun illustrations by Diane Goode. This poems in this book are easy to read and well written. As easy as they may be to read, each poem can spark debate and conversation about the point the author is trying to get across. There are several poems that I read that I felt would be a wonderful hook for my fifth grade students because even in all of its simplicity, there is depth in every poem. Two of my favorite poems were titled "The Me ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining collection of poems that is dedicated to Shel Silverstein and pays homage to his whimsical rhyming style and black and white illustrations. In fact, when I first saw the book at our local library, I thought it was another book of his poems that was published posthumously.

The poems range across a wide variety of topics and really speak to children's hopes, fears, dreams, and desires. A few of the poems have awkward rhymes, but on the whole we found this book to be highly
Apr 05, 2014 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-art
I highly recommend starting your day with a silly fun poem or three! As we went along I found a new favorite each day, one of them being:

My Friend….Imaginary
My best imaginary friend
Said the rottenest thing to me.
So now I have a super-mean
make-believe enemy


Dorks and Geeks
Dorks and geeks,
Artistic freaks,
And nerds especially
Become the great,
inventive souls
that make our history

O.k. no more looking through the book or I will end up re-reading them all again! Kids will love each one and their simp
Penny Peck
Jun 07, 2014 Penny Peck rated it liked it
Shelves: children-ya
Written in homage to Shel Silverstein (check out the dedication on the verso), this solid book of humorous verse will please readers, although it is not particularly memorable. Ink cartoons add to the fun, and Wilson is adept at consistent rhymes. The only thing missing is Silverstein's subversive underlying messages. If kids and tweens are seeking some fun new poetry books, this is a good choice.
Edward Sullivan
Apr 18, 2014 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A fun collection of lighthearted verse with a quite obvious nod to Shel Silverstein. Great whimsical line drawings by Diane Goode.
Sep 20, 2012 Brandy rated it really liked it
Funny & Cute collection of YA poems - My favorite, "Inside, Outside, Upside Down"!
Jun 05, 2014 Reader50 rated it really liked it
I loved the poems, reminiscent of the poems of Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends". This poems are funny, cleaver and often quirky with illustrations to match.
Silverstein-esque...very good poetry for the kiddies! The graphics are great and make the poetry come alive.
Beth Wozencraft
Jun 16, 2017 Beth Wozencraft rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This collection of poems features a mix of poems of all lengths and types. Topics also range from robots to lies, which means that every person can find a poem that interests them. The illustrations resemble those of Shel Silverstein with their simple black lines and interestingly the book is also dedicated to him. Overall, the poems in this collection were fun to read and made me laugh several times. It would be fun to have students in the upper elementary grades create their own simple poems r ...more
Jun 21, 2017 Adri rated it really liked it
In the vein of Shel Silverstein, who is a favorite in our family. We thought this was clever and fun.
Jun 21, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I would categorize this as a traditional book of expressive poetry, and is very similar to Shel Silverstein’s books. The illustrations are also reminiscent of Silverstein’s in that they are plentiful, black and white and add to the mood of the poems. Even the cover of the book is similar to Silverstein books. Most of the poems are very short – ranging from two to about twenty lines, and are written in various forms. They are often silly with a deeper message that should be explored as part of a ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 18, 2014 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
As a kid, I loved the wacky poetry of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. They twisted words like a verbal gymnasts, making them dance and flip in my head. Their humor still resonates with kids--which is why they love this new collection of poems, Outside the Box, which combines quirky observations, outrageous situations and unexpected twists just like the great Seuss and Silverstein did.

Wilson declares from the very beginning that humor's her game, but she always invites young readers to see more i
Apr 08, 2015 Selenia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Great book of poetry, reminiscent in layout and style to The Missing Piece, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and other books by Shel Silverstein. I love black and white illustrations and these were absolutely beautiful. Favorite poems include the puppy poem and Pigasus. A wonderful collection of poems that make you laugh and think. And, I must admit, also amazing due to the high number of animal poems included. Also recommended due to similar beauty in style and writing: Bone Poems, by Jeff Moss, illust ...more
I wanted to like this as much as "What's the Weather Inside?" But for some reason the illustrations distracted from the poems. Also, maybe my mood when I read it, but I really only found one or two I wanted to share aloud. When reading they seemed too much alike, too sing-songy, and to need too much explaining. I will try it again before I return the book to the library.
Great Books
Apr 01, 2014 Great Books rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
Fun and engaging poems to read and talk about together. Humorous kid topics: clay, frogs, spiders werewolves and vampires,to name a few, all inspire (humorous)insightful thinking and encourage additional page turns. The black and white illustrations happily support and depict the poems.
Reviewer 3.
May 05, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds, poetry
The kids laughed a lot while I read this book to them. I liked the way she wrote in several different poetry styles and made playing with words look fun. My kids even memorized this gem...

Why I Avoid the Kiddie Pool

I have a little brother,
and I'm not a fool.
I know why it's warmer
in the kiddie pool.
Jul 08, 2014 Scott rated it really liked it
As a Silverstein tribute this was pretty solid (considering the dedication, I think it's safe to compare them). The poems were clever and cute, though not quite as thrilling as those of Silverstein. The illustrations were pretty great, though the full page spreads left me a little jolted, trying to connect them to the poetry.
Apr 16, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
A nod to Shel Silverstein! Funny poems with funny line drawings. My favorite:
"PROFESSIONAL LIAR" : I'm a professional liar,/ which means I tell lies for a living./ You say that's absurd?/ Please, take my word./ (That is, if my word is worth giving!)//
I'm a professional liar./ I tell tales most every day./ But I'll shed some light./ My job is to write./ And in fiction, lies are okay.
Mar 08, 2014 Dolores rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, edw-arc, azr
School, holidays, animals, siblings, growing's all in here. The pencils sketches are a perfect compliment to the poetry that's sure to delight and inspire elementary aged children. This goes on our poetry shelf!
Michele Knott
Jun 11, 2014 Michele Knott rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2014
Fun book of poetry, reminiscent of Shel Silverstein. I think a few of the poems reminded me of a specific Silverstein poem. It would be fun to go back and compare! Several poems made me laugh out loud. Diane Goode's illustrations are always fun to look at.
Feb 21, 2016 Allison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tween, poetry, children
My son has a picture book by Karma Wilson that he really enjoys, so I wanted to check out a book of her poetry. Very humorous, paired with wonderful illustrations by Diane Goode. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to read and appreciate these poems.
Jul 11, 2015 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jnonfiction
A collection of poetry in the style of the great shel Silverstein. There's only one shel but this is certainly a worthy new collection of poems for children, parents and teachers to enjoy.
Debby Baumgartner
Jan 16, 2016 Debby Baumgartner rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, poetry
A collection of poems about people, actions, animals, and creations that are outside the box.
Dec 30, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: kidreads
My kids liked these poems and the illustrations, but not as much as Shel Silverstein's. They are similar though, and still fun and silly.
Emily Von pfahl
Feb 25, 2016 Emily Von pfahl rated it really liked it
Wonderful illustrations and fun poems for fans of Silverstein who have read all of his collections.
Dec 29, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it
For those who love Silverstein, Prelutsky and Katz! Karma Wilson's poems beg to be read aloud as all poems should be:)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems
  • I've Lost My Hippopotamus
  • Shiver Me Timbers!: Pirate Poems & Paintings
  • Winter Bees  Other Poems of the Cold
  • In the Sea
  • Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems
  • Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
  • Pug: And Other Animal Poems
  • Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems
  • A Dazzling Display of Dogs
  • A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play
  • Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist
  • Orangutanka: A Story in Poems
  • Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole
  • Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku
  • We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart
  • BookSpeak!: Poems about Books
  • Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace
Karma Wilson grew up an only child of a single mother in the wilds of North Idaho. Way back then (just past the stone age and somewhat before the era of computers) there was no cable TV and if there had been Karma could not have recieved it. TV reception was limited to 3 channels, of which one came in with some clarity. Karma did the only sensible thing a lonely little girl could do…she read or pl ...more
More about Karma Wilson...

Share This Book