Text Complexity

If You Were a Chocolate Mustache: Poems

Lewis, J P, and Matthew Cordell. If You Were a Chocolate Mustache: Poems. Honesdale, Penn: Wordsong, 2012. Print.


Kid’s poems are always fun, but they have always been problematic for me.  Finding and sharing good poems is not too difficult when one has the time. On the other hand, finding poems that approach greatness are rare.  This work is a case of the latter. Poet (Lewis) and illustrator (Cordell) have unleashed over 100 poems and sketches designed to entertain and challenge kids.


The challenge in reading the poetry in this volume is that it presents younger readers with some difficult words scattered throughout. (Hmm, that sounds like text complexity referred to by the Common Core). The poetry is accessible because it is what I like to refer to as “everyday stuff.” Isn’t that what language is for, to describe everyday stuff in different ways depending on the message one wishes to convey?


This is a perfect book for the classroom library, if you buy more than one copy. Teachers and librarians serving second grade and beyond need to put this into their daily routine and use it as a read-aloud. The beauty of poetry, especially kid’s poetry that is illustrated is that it is playful and lends itself to performance. Indulge yourself and treat your kids to this scrumptious volume.