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Love Poems for People with Children

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In the spirit of his wildly popular New Yorker pieces and the New York Times bestseller Love Poems for Married People, Thurber-prize winner John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for people with children. With the same brilliant wit and hilarious realism that made Love Poems for Married People such a hit, John Kenney is back with a brand new collection of In the spirit of his wildly popular New Yorker pieces and the New York Times bestseller Love Poems for Married People, Thurber-prize winner John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for people with children. With the same brilliant wit and hilarious realism that made Love Poems for Married People such a hit, John Kenney is back with a brand new collection of poems, this time taking on the greatest joy in life: children. Kenney covers it all, from newborns, toddlers, and sleep deprivation, to the terrible twos, terrible tweens, and terrible teens. A parent's love is unconditional, but sometimes that button can't help but be pushed. Between back to school shopping, summer vacations that never end, the awkwardness of puberty, the inevitable post-college moving back in, and more, a parent's job is never done, whether they like it or not.


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In the spirit of his wildly popular New Yorker pieces and the New York Times bestseller Love Poems for Married People, Thurber-prize winner John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for people with children. With the same brilliant wit and hilarious realism that made Love Poems for Married People such a hit, John Kenney is back with a brand new collection of In the spirit of his wildly popular New Yorker pieces and the New York Times bestseller Love Poems for Married People, Thurber-prize winner John Kenney presents a hilarious new collection of poetry for people with children. With the same brilliant wit and hilarious realism that made Love Poems for Married People such a hit, John Kenney is back with a brand new collection of poems, this time taking on the greatest joy in life: children. Kenney covers it all, from newborns, toddlers, and sleep deprivation, to the terrible twos, terrible tweens, and terrible teens. A parent's love is unconditional, but sometimes that button can't help but be pushed. Between back to school shopping, summer vacations that never end, the awkwardness of puberty, the inevitable post-college moving back in, and more, a parent's job is never done, whether they like it or not.

30 review for Love Poems for People with Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    3.5 stars "No offense to either of you, but I preferred the idea of kids to actual kids" -- excerpt from 'For Lulu & Hewitt' Author Kenney extolls the joy (cough cough) and trials of parenthood in the 21st century with his collection of 40+ poems. Much of the humor - which could effortlessly translate into a stand-up routine - is droll and on-target in this slim volume, with some occasionally laugh-worthy moments like 'JFK-LAX' (a cross-country flight with a toddler), 'Saturday Night' (where did th 3.5 stars "No offense to either of you, but I preferred the idea of kids to actual kids" -- excerpt from 'For Lulu & Hewitt' Author Kenney extolls the joy (cough cough) and trials of parenthood in the 21st century with his collection of 40+ poems. Much of the humor - which could effortlessly translate into a stand-up routine - is droll and on-target in this slim volume, with some occasionally laugh-worthy moments like 'JFK-LAX' (a cross-country flight with a toddler), 'Saturday Night' (where did the couple's time and energy for fun go?) and the very self-explanatory 'My Six Year-Old Got Ahold of My Phone.' While not necessarily a must-read, it was a gentle reminder of the truth that exists in comedy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    TraceyL

    Excellent. All of John Kenney's poetry collections are great. I've now read all 4 and would recommend them to anyone, but especially those who don't normally read poetry and wanted to give it a try. Excellent. All of John Kenney's poetry collections are great. I've now read all 4 and would recommend them to anyone, but especially those who don't normally read poetry and wanted to give it a try.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    John Kenney is absolutely hysterical. I read one of his other ‘Love Poems’ books earlier this year and couldn’t get enough of how real and honest it was! Love Poems for Married People was a delight to read for both my husband and I and we often found ourselves laughing until we cried over one poem or another. I had no idea that he was working on another book of poems until it arrived on my desk for review. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read it. So I blocked out an hour of time and read it i John Kenney is absolutely hysterical. I read one of his other ‘Love Poems’ books earlier this year and couldn’t get enough of how real and honest it was! Love Poems for Married People was a delight to read for both my husband and I and we often found ourselves laughing until we cried over one poem or another. I had no idea that he was working on another book of poems until it arrived on my desk for review. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read it. So I blocked out an hour of time and read it in one sitting. This book is perfect for people with children of any age. As luck would have it, my husband and I have a three year old and many of these poems were all too real. I think the one I loved the most was ‘Who Will Be The First To Get Up’. When our son was a baby, this was a constant question we both spent purposely ignoring each night. Kenney nailed this perpetual debate that new parents have—I could totally tell that my husband was up but he was faking sleep so that I would get up and reading that there are others out there who have this same issue made me chuckle. Kenney is so honest and real in his poetry and I can’t get enough of it. Personally, I liked Love Poems for Married People better but this one was still humorous with lots to love. This is a great book for new parents or soon to be empty nesters on your shopping list this year! I know that I plan on getting this book for a friend of mine who is also a mother and I sure hope she likes it as much as I did! It’s a fun read that you can spend a quick moment between nap times laughing about the joys of parenthood. See my full review here

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Some were laugh out loud funny. Many were crass. This was a branch out for me (poetry is not my normal jam), and I enjoyed it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Like many poetry collections, some of these poems were on point, while others were not. One thing is for sure, Kenney perfectly nailed what it's like to be a parent. Like many poetry collections, some of these poems were on point, while others were not. One thing is for sure, Kenney perfectly nailed what it's like to be a parent.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara Peoples

    This was a laugh out loud pallet refresher that I ended up reading most of aloud to my husband. Pure fun.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Even though I don’t have kids, I still enjoyed these poems. Funny stuff!

  8. 4 out of 5

    melhara

    I loved this book and I don't even have kids. I've heard from so many couples about how relationships and romance changes the moment you have kids. This book is an honest, witty, and humourous depiction of the different stages of parenting (babies, kids, then teenagers). As someone who doesn't have any kids, I thought the poems were still really funny and that this book would be the perfect gift to give to any couple with kids (I'm adding it to my xmas gift shopping list right now). Honestly, many I loved this book and I don't even have kids. I've heard from so many couples about how relationships and romance changes the moment you have kids. This book is an honest, witty, and humourous depiction of the different stages of parenting (babies, kids, then teenagers). As someone who doesn't have any kids, I thought the poems were still really funny and that this book would be the perfect gift to give to any couple with kids (I'm adding it to my xmas gift shopping list right now). Honestly, many of these poems made me think of Claire and Phil Dunphy from Modern Family because of the relateably funny depiction of a typical family *** #8 of my 2020 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge - Read an audiobook of poetry ***

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Me: Hears good things about this book and orders it to give to the mister for Valentine's Day for a laugh. Receives the book and decides to flip through it to see if its any good. Also me: Accidentally binges the entire thing in one sitting. A delightfully wry look at love and relationships when you have children. Me: Hears good things about this book and orders it to give to the mister for Valentine's Day for a laugh. Receives the book and decides to flip through it to see if its any good. Also me: Accidentally binges the entire thing in one sitting. A delightfully wry look at love and relationships when you have children.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Funny, relatable, and easy to digest in a single sitting. From how having children affects intimacy to the generous white lies we tell our children to make them feel talented and special (because they ARE but maybe just not at everything) to the facade of social media, this really hit home. 4 Stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Herrera

    Wonderful

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlynn Williamson

    Definitely relatable. Definitely laughed out loud at a few. 😂

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gene Z

    I didn’t find this one as funny as Love Poems for the Office

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Truth.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debbe

    This was not as entertaining as Love Poems for Married People but it had its moments.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin Schwane

    Looking forward to his next book of poems. Spot on in so many ways!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I enjoy a good collection of poems. I enjoy humor about parenting and kids. Who knew there was a way to get both in one book! John Kenney knew that it was possible and wrote a lovely set of poems about being a parent. Mind you this isn’t a set of poems saying parenting is amazing and glorifies parents. No, this set of poems looks at what a parent really is. A person trying to survive. Kids can be difficult and all you want to do is escape. Sure you love your kids but they can be impossible. If y I enjoy a good collection of poems. I enjoy humor about parenting and kids. Who knew there was a way to get both in one book! John Kenney knew that it was possible and wrote a lovely set of poems about being a parent. Mind you this isn’t a set of poems saying parenting is amazing and glorifies parents. No, this set of poems looks at what a parent really is. A person trying to survive. Kids can be difficult and all you want to do is escape. Sure you love your kids but they can be impossible. If you want a light hearted look at parenting and all the woes that are included pick this book up. Plus it poetry so it’ll look like you’ve got some culture in you too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book of adult parental humor is one that every parent and soon to be parent should have. Witty and whimsical; some of the events depicted in certain scenarios are quite relatable for an everyday life of a mom and dad, not at all glamorized or invented to produce a chuckle. They do very much happen! I laughed a lot with some. Some were cute. Others okay. Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend the read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    Hilarious. It's as if someone peeked into my life and went, 'ahhh yes, this is the definition of parenting. WE MUST WRITE MEANINGFUL POETRY', and then wrote this instead because if you don't laugh, you'll cry laugh in your shower at 9pm, and again after your kid wakes up for the 4th time in one night, and it's 3.27am and you have gym at 5am. I'd prefer to rofl minus the eyeball juice. Hilarious. It's as if someone peeked into my life and went, 'ahhh yes, this is the definition of parenting. WE MUST WRITE MEANINGFUL POETRY', and then wrote this instead because if you don't laugh, you'll cry laugh in your shower at 9pm, and again after your kid wakes up for the 4th time in one night, and it's 3.27am and you have gym at 5am. I'd prefer to rofl minus the eyeball juice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Many of these poems had me laughing out loud and crying tears of commiserating bliss. I appreciated the wide variety of narrators. Both my husband and I were able to access and enjoy these poems, and for the first time in a while, we were laughing about the struggles of parenting instead of arguing with each other. Highly recommend it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    I laughed....hard...throughout most of this book, and insisted in reading many aloud to my husband. As a Bostonian, I especially enjoyed “Saying you grew up in Boston is not an excuse for your behavior”.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicole-Rose

    After reading (and loving) his collection Love Poems for the Office, I felt the need to pick up John Kenney's other poetry collections, especially because the other ones were about anxiety, children, and married life. Given that I'm an anxious married mother, I figured I'd be the perfect audience for all three.   Unfortunately, I didn't find these three nearly as entertaining as his newest collection. Perhaps Kenney is honing his craft as he progresses. In any case, I'll still read any new collect After reading (and loving) his collection Love Poems for the Office, I felt the need to pick up John Kenney's other poetry collections, especially because the other ones were about anxiety, children, and married life. Given that I'm an anxious married mother, I figured I'd be the perfect audience for all three.   Unfortunately, I didn't find these three nearly as entertaining as his newest collection. Perhaps Kenney is honing his craft as he progresses. In any case, I'll still read any new collections that he publishes. However, I will be getting them from the library, even despite Kenney jokingly bashing readers that get his books from the library (I don't understand why authors do this).   Also, I'm not sure how many one-year-olds Kenney knows that talk in complete, fluent sentences. Maybe it's a Jersey thing. 

  23. 5 out of 5

    Devin

    Loved this book of poems. It was just what I needed. Here’s one of my favorites (though it does not remind my of anyone I know...) Sometimes I think I could write a TV show. I have ideas That come to me all the time. Here’s one. The pilot episode would take place in a home As the children were getting ready for school. We see the woman making lunches Helping with last-minute homework Tying shoes Packing backpacks Spooning cereal. We see the man on the toilet on his iPad. As the mother and children leave for Loved this book of poems. It was just what I needed. Here’s one of my favorites (though it does not remind my of anyone I know...) Sometimes I think I could write a TV show. I have ideas That come to me all the time. Here’s one. The pilot episode would take place in a home As the children were getting ready for school. We see the woman making lunches Helping with last-minute homework Tying shoes Packing backpacks Spooning cereal. We see the man on the toilet on his iPad. As the mother and children leave for school The man tries to stand from the toilet. But he’s been sitting for so long His legs have gone numb. And he’s stuck there all day. Credits roll.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Poetry. Poetry... P.o.e.t.r.y I am now recommending Love Poems for People with Children to family and friends this book is so hilarious. My only mistake was trying to read it before bed. I'd make it through about 4 or 5 poems and I'd be laughing so hard I would then have to wake my husband up to read it to him. 3 days later I have successfully not peed my pants going to bed and my husband is also read the book too. Heed the title, if you do not have children this may not be the book for you. I do k Poetry. Poetry... P.o.e.t.r.y I am now recommending Love Poems for People with Children to family and friends this book is so hilarious. My only mistake was trying to read it before bed. I'd make it through about 4 or 5 poems and I'd be laughing so hard I would then have to wake my husband up to read it to him. 3 days later I have successfully not peed my pants going to bed and my husband is also read the book too. Heed the title, if you do not have children this may not be the book for you. I do know that there are other titles by the author and I would highly recommend any of those to you although I have not tried them yet.

  25. 4 out of 5

    🌶 peppersocks 🧦

    Reflections and lessons learned: Relatable moments... Wishing for Paw patrol last mission! Over-reacting Daddy hiding Children swearing Screen time babysitter That thing conversation... Cheesy in parts but funny - reminiscent of the old Jack Dee gag of badgering your friends to kids (as they’re the miracle of life) and then laughing as you watch them struggle too... but it’s not all cynical laughing with this book “We did look perfect though. And that was certainly our intention to make you feel that way Reflections and lessons learned: Relatable moments... Wishing for Paw patrol last mission! Over-reacting Daddy hiding Children swearing Screen time babysitter That thing conversation... Cheesy in parts but funny - reminiscent of the old Jack Dee gag of badgering your friends to kids (as they’re the miracle of life) and then laughing as you watch them struggle too... but it’s not all cynical laughing with this book “We did look perfect though. And that was certainly our intention to make you feel that way”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Full of relatable and hilarious observations on parenting, this book had me laughing long after I'd finished it (and then recited each poem to my equally hysterical husband). With titles ranging from "I am fully aware the wheels on the bus go round and round" to "Is your sense that you will ever move out of the house?", this book is perfect for anyone in the midst of parenthood, no matter what season they find themselves in. Full of relatable and hilarious observations on parenting, this book had me laughing long after I'd finished it (and then recited each poem to my equally hysterical husband). With titles ranging from "I am fully aware the wheels on the bus go round and round" to "Is your sense that you will ever move out of the house?", this book is perfect for anyone in the midst of parenthood, no matter what season they find themselves in.

  27. 5 out of 5

    fer_reads

    Short and hilarious! I found these poems not only funny, but also relateable. I needed something light to read and this popped up as a suggestion for me on Goodreads. Luckily enough, my library had a copy available and I read it all fairly quickly. These are not deep or profound poems. These poems are more comical observations and experiences in parenting and being married. Just a fun book! I’m looking forward to reading Kenney’s other books. 4 ⭐️

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    Excerpt from new book of poetry gifted to me by @PutnamBooks {#partner} “New shampoo? I ask. No. I think that’s spit up.” John Kenney has written a hilarious and honest book of poems aimed at parents. In ‘Love Poems (for People with Children)’ Kenney hits on the mood killing, cuss worthy and unique teaching moments experienced by parents everywhere. This book is available October 15.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tami Groth

    This is a hilarious book and also good truth-telling poetry. Using the compact structure of poetry Kenney is able to make me laugh and smile over and over. At the same time it is obvious to me, even before reading the acknowledgments, that he adores his kids and loves being a father. I read many of these aloud to my husband on a long drive after visiting family and it was exactly what we needed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I laughed so hard at these poems.  Some of them are better than others.  My personal favorites  "Quiet Time" (be quiet or we put you in a tree), "I am going to count to three" (What does one do after three?  Go to four?)   "The Talk" (Maybe just talk to Glen) and "Weekend breakfast with the family" (mommy has a squishy butt).  I still have a smile on my face just thinking about them. I laughed so hard at these poems.  Some of them are better than others.  My personal favorites  "Quiet Time" (be quiet or we put you in a tree), "I am going to count to three" (What does one do after three?  Go to four?)   "The Talk" (Maybe just talk to Glen) and "Weekend breakfast with the family" (mommy has a squishy butt).  I still have a smile on my face just thinking about them.

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