Messing Around on the Monkey Bars

and Other School Poems for Two Voices

Illustrator: Jessie Hartland

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Candlewick Press

Age 8+


Grab a partner (or many more) and read these playful poems for multiple voices aloud — evoking all the high spirits and hijinks of a day at school.

Out on the playground, kids are skipping rope and making trades. In the library, they’re whispering, fidgeting, and giggling. In the classroom, they’re learning their lessons....or spinning tales about why they haven’t turned in their homework. Throughout this collection of nineteen poems — ideal for reading aloud in pairs, but just as much fun with one or many — words, pictures, and voices erupt in an irresistible invitation to join an exhilarating ride around school. So hop on the bus! The pencils are tapping, the clock is ticking, and reports are due...tomorrow?


Betsy Franco starts every weekday with a visit to her local elementary school, where she chats with students, listens to what they’re saying, and observes what they’re doing. What she has learned informs many of her more than eighty books, including several picture-book poetry collections. She lives in California.

Jessie Hartland has illustrated numerous picture books for children, including two she authored. Her fine artwork has been exhibited in New York, Venice, Tokyo, and elsewhere. She lives and works in New York City.

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