Monday, August 6, 2012
Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, by Jack Prelutsky
Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems
by Jack Prelutsky
illustrated by Carin Berger
New York: Greenwillow Books
Several short poems catalogue the charms of fantastic hybrid creatures like the shoehornet and the toadster.
Prelutsky, former Children's Poet Laureate (2006), has a reputation for silliness. Here he steps up his game to include puns and other sophisticated language in the effortless rhyme and meter of his verse.
Second-graders may not understand why an "alarmadillo" is amusing, but 4th, 5th, or 6th-graders will have a better sense of the juxtaposition of two normal elements that create one weird whole. Also in the zoo are the ballpoint penguins, the clocktopus, and other friends.
Here comes a PANTHERMOMETER,
A cat we fondly hail,
For we can tell the temperature
By looking at its tail.
These wacky creatures are displayed in careful cut-paper collage, where although the edges interlock smoothly, it's not uncommon to see stray words printed across several scraps that make up a palm tree's trunk or the tail of the monkey swinging from it. Single letters and other snippets are often used for facial features, underscoring the playful use of language both verbally and visually.
Media: cut paper