Not bad, though I'd prefer to read the original works. This poetry collection's made up of snippets from Dahl's other works: [b:Charlie and the Chocolate Factory|6310|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)|Roald Dahl|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309211401s/6310.jpg|2765786], [b:Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator|6687|Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Charlie Bucket, #2)|Roald Dahl|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309211607s/6687.jpg|2615068], [b:James and the Giant Peach|6689|James and the Giant Peach|Roald Dahl|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327935904s/6689.jpg|2379261], [b:Fantastic Mr. Fox|6693|Fantastic Mr. Fox|Roald Dahl|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320393139s/6693.jpg|44775], [b:The Enormous Crocodile|6668|The Enormous Crocodile|Roald Dahl|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327936655s/6668.jpg|9921], and a number of others. More than 25 different illustrators provide drawings to accompany the poems.
Sigourney and I had fun with the variety of illustration styles. And a number of the poems made us giggle. My particular favorite is Dahl's take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears":
A judge would say without a blink,
"Ten years' hard labour in the clink!"
But in the book, as you will see,
The little beast gets off scot-free,
While tiny children near and far
Shout, "Goody-good! Hooray! Hurrah!
Poor darling Goldilocks!" they say.
"Thank goodness that she got away!"
Myself, I think I'd rather send
Young Goldie to a sticky end.
Dahl rips Goldilocks as a "brazen little crook", "little toad", "thieving little louse", "freak", "little skunk", and other choice labels. It's funny, and the drawings by Lauren Child work well.
What doesn't work well are some of the previously unpublished poems. They're awkward. Granted, it's kind of fun to read works by school-aged Dahl, especially his "A Ballade Against Umpires" where his frustration with Cricket umps inspires the refrain: "I think all umpires should be shot at dawn!" Dramatic little fella!
I recommend Vile Verses
for the illustrations. Otherwise, go with the original works for your read alongs.