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Reviewed by Jacqueline Ruiz for Readers' Favorite
The Gross Gang written by Christine Larsen is about Larsen’s fascination with words that can be classified as "odd" or “extinct.” The book introduces us to many of these words (some of which I’ve never heard before) in the form of various poems. Her poems are quirky and fun to read and, I must say, highly relevant to the meanings of the “extinct” words. I know this because at the end of each poem, Larsen gives us definitions to better understand what we have just read. Each poem is also accompanied by a cute picture at the beginning – Larsen doesn’t mention an illustrator so I wonder if she drew these pictures herself. I’ve read a previous book by Larsen and she strikes me as a quirky yet highly likable person. I could picture her sitting in her study, drawing these wonderful images.
If I had to choose my favorite poem from this book, I would have to say “The Great Gadzooks.” I am familiar with the words gadzooks and kerfuffle but in this poem, Larsen gives them a lovelier meaning. Gazza Gadzooks and Katie Kerfuffle were once a couple. They lost each other along the way. Katie met someone else and became a Burly (she married Hurly!). After much turmoil, he passed away so now the two wonder although ten years have passed, is it time for their love to renew? You will definitely enjoy this book as much as I have done. This is a great way to remember these words and a delightful resource for introducing children to these long-lost words as well.