Written by: Nick Cannon
Illustrated by: Nick Cannon, Art Mobb, caliFAWNia, Captain Kris, MAST, Mike P, Morf, & Queen Andrea
Published in 2015
Grade Level: 2-6
Summary: Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems is a collection of poems by Nick Cannon, illustrated by street artists. The book contains poems inspired by Shel Silverstein, hip hop, people Nick has met, and many others.
I bought this book at the Scholastic Book Fair at my school this last week. I was drawn to the book because of the cover and the title. When I saw it was written by Nick Cannon I decided to go for it.
This book was a mixed bag. Some poems I liked, and some I just couldn’t get into. The content was quite varied, and the poems that had a clear hip hop inspiration just weren’t interesting to me. That said, I could easily see older elementary and middle school students really getting into it.
I think a lot of my problem was that I just couldn’t find the right beat when reading a lot of the poems. The ones that I did have a good beat for I enjoyed a lot more. Some of the poems I read a few times trying to figure them out, but they just didn’t “flow” for me.
The poems I really liked were the ones with a positive message (Put on a Smile, Lend Your Light, and Sí Se Puede) and the ones that reminded me of Shel Silverstein (Brushing My Tiger’s Teeth, Foot in Mouth Disease, and Lunch Money), who Nick says was an inspiration to him.
As far as the illustrations go, I really liked that Nick used street artists to illustrate the poems. The illustrations really matched the spirit of the book, and while some pictures were not in my taste, I appreciate that they were right choice for the book.
Final Thoughts: Overall not a bad book, but it is really not my style. There is definitely an audience out there for this though, and I think anyone who is a fan of Nick Cannon or who enjoys hip hop will like this book. Just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean that it won’t be an excellent book for you. If you think it sounds good, I recommend checking it out.
I give Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems four stars.