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This brilliant collection of poems by NCTE Award-winning poet Barbara Esbensen is a classic of its kind. Each poem challenges children to think not only about animals but also about animal words. John Stadler's gleeful parade of pictures captures each wrinkled, roaring, or bright-eyed poem.
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Barbara Juster Esbensen's many books include Who Shrank My Grandmother's House? Poems of Discovery and Cold Stars & Fireflies: Poems for the Four Seasons. In 1994 she joined a select group of poets to receive the National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.
John Stadler is the author and illustrator of The Adventures of Snail at School among others. He lives in Lyme, New Hampshire.
Grade 3-6 Each of these 21 animal poems tries to capture the essence of an individual animal by examining the word used to name it. Sometimes the exercise works, as with snake ("slips /like a silk shoelace /away") or hummingbird ("Glimpse this wordits clockwork /partswhere blossom /intersects with air") but more often it fails. The penguin is reduced to the cliched waiter: "and bring you a /Snow Queen SpecialANTARTICA /in a frosted glass." What works consistently are Stadler's black-and-white illustrations. Always interpreting and expanding the text, the ink drawings breathe life into a book that somehow seems an intellectual exercise rather than a joyous romp through the animal kingdom. With the many poetry books about animals to choose from, ranging from the concise zaniness of Belloc's The Bad Child's Book of Beasts (Sparhawk, 1982) to the often quiet elegance of Cole's collection The Poetry of Horses (Scribners, 1979; o.p.), stay with poems that truly capture their animal subjects. This book doesn't. Kathleen D. Whalin, Pub. Lib. of Columbus and Franklin County, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harper Collins, Inc., 1986. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1422360466