Poetry for Young People: Animal Poems Hardcover – Sep 1 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–William Blake's "The Tyger" and Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussy-cat" are just 2 of the 33 classic children's poems included in this collection, which is similar in style and format to earlier series titles. The book opens with an interesting five-page essay about different types of animal poems. Each offering is prefaced by information about the background of the poem or poet and some of the imagery used. The paragraphs are informative, but tend to overpower the shorter poems. Many of the pages contain a full-color illustration without borders or white space. The poems are superimposed on the art in small font, sometimes black on light, other times white on dark, which makes some of the entries difficult to read. However, Mulazzani's painterly style does a good job of mirroring the mood of each piece. This is a decent choice for traditional fare, but those looking for more contemporary poems about animals should consider Lee Bennett Hopkins's Hoofbeats, Claws & Rippled Fins: Creature Poems (HarperCollins, 2002).–Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Gr. 5-7. Although animal poetry anthologies for young people abound, this one from the Poetry for Young People series sets itself apart by featuring a number of writers more commonly encountered in high-school and college literature courses than in elementary and middle-school classrooms. A few of the poems appear in translation, but most represent the works of English and American writers such as Blake, Carroll, Dickinson, Emerson, Frost, -Keats, Lawrence, Lear, Melville, Roethke, Rosetti, Stevens, Swenson, Tennyson, Wordsworth, and Yeats. Each poem is preceded by a short introduction commenting on the poet and the verse, and most are accompanied by brief notes defining words and phrases. Handsome, stylized paintings fill the pages with color. Varying widely in the accessibility of their language, the poems are occasionally difficult to read in a mechanical sense because they are superimposed on a patterned illustration. Recommended for larger collections. Carolyn Phelan
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