Calef Brown's Flamingos on the Roof

Calef Brown's Flamingos on the Roof

Carrie McBride
Feb 8, 2008

We became so engrossed with a recent NPR segment with Daniel Pinkwater about Calef Brown's new book Flamingos on the Roof that we nearly missed our subway stop. Which would have been worth it. It's a book of fun, clever poetry (ala Shel Silverstein) and now that we've seen the accompanying illustrations, we're really in love.

Weatherbee's Diner

Whenever you're looking for something to eat,

Weatherbee's Diner is just down the street.

Start off your meal with a bottle of rain.

Fog on the glass is imported from Maine.

The thunder is wonderful, order it loud,

with sun-dried tornado on top of a cloud.

Snow flurry curry is also a treat.

It's loaded with lightening and slathered in sleet.

Cyclones with hailstones are great for dessert,

but only have one or your belly will hurt.

Regardless of whether it's chilly or warm,

at Weatherbee's Diner they cook up a storm!

Wordplay, alliteration and humor abound in poems that will delight children and parents alike. Calef Brown has written several other children's books worth checking out including Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories, Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers: 14 More Stories and Tippintown: A Guided Tour.

Combo Tango

Dance lesson number one:

The Combination Tango.

Listen to the lingo.

This is how the steps go:

Boogie to the banjo.

Bop to the bongo.

Freeze like an igloo.

Stomp like a buffalo.

Drop like a yo-yo.

Swing like a golf pro.

Flip like a hairdo.

Tumble like a domino.

Swivel on your a knee cap.

Wobble like a mudflap.

Take a little cat nap.

Do it all again.

Mr. Brown illustrates his own books as well as those of other children's authors. His work also shows up in magazines such as The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. If you're interested in illustration, see more of his work and read an interview with him over at Illustration Mundo. He also has his own website.

You can find Mr. Brown's books at your library, local bookstore or online.

Listen to the NPR story here.

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