Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: Ode to Underwear by Helaine Becker

Publish October 31, 2013

9781443124751 Written by Helaine Becker Illustrated by Mike Boldt Scholastic Canada 24 pp September 2013 For Preschool to Grade 2 “Let’s hear it for our underwear/ Our fun-to-wear best underwear!” With those words, Helaine Becker begins an entertaining romp celebrating everyone’s basic item of clothing. Similarly, Mike Boldt’s colourful digital illustrations promise cheerful mischief on the first page as a pair of boxer shorts peeks out of a drawer, checking to see if the coast is clear. As Becker enumerates the different kinds of undergarments (“Those with bows and those quite sheer/ Those with heroes on the rear,”) Boldt shows them emerging from drawers and cupboards, marching down the hallway and gathering in the living room for a lively party while the humans are away. Only the sight of a small boy passing by the picture window is enough to break up the party – but not the sense of fun. Becker is a versatile and accomplished author capable of writing adventure novels, award-winning science books and playful picture books. Here the wackier elements of her talent are given free rein and it obvious that she is revelling in the sheer silliness of her topic. Boldt’s remarkably expressive underwear – with their cheery faces and stick legs and arms – creep out of drawers and closets, flex muscles and join in the parade, looking like characters in an old Hollywood musical. One can practically hear “Seventy-Six Trombones” – or perhaps that should be “Seventy-Six Long Johns.” Ode to Underwear is giggle-inducing, lively fun. Gillian O'Rielly  Gillian O’Reilly is the editor of Canadian Children’s Book News and a children’s book author. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This review, and all of our children’s book reviews, are free to reprint and repost. Download the files here or Contact Us for more information. Word Doc: Ode to Underwear PDF: Ode to Underwear