Animal Poems of the Iguazu/Animalario del Iguazu

Animal Poems of the Iguazu/Animalario del Iguazu

by Francisco X. Alarcon, Maya Christina Gonzalez
     
 

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In the lush rainforest of the Iguazú National Park, toucans and butterflies flit through the trees while sleek jaguars prowl the jungle floor. Dazzling waterfalls provide a thunderous backdrop while great dusky swifts keep watch overhead. In this magical journey through one of the wonders of the natural world, renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcón follows

Overview

In the lush rainforest of the Iguazú National Park, toucans and butterflies flit through the trees while sleek jaguars prowl the jungle floor. Dazzling waterfalls provide a thunderous backdrop while great dusky swifts keep watch overhead. In this magical journey through one of the wonders of the natural world, renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcón follows the Amerindian oral tradition, allowing the animals to speak for themselves in their own roaring, soaring, fluttering voices. Maya Christina Gonzalez’s glorious mixed media illustrations bring the vibrant colors and textures of the rainforest to life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Two West Coast Chicano artists (From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems) celebrate Iguazú Falls, the immense rain forest waterfalls that lie between Argentina and Brazil. "These waterfalls/ are the big blue/ and green laughter/ of Mother Earth/ cascading down/ in loud peals," declares Alarcón; Gonzalez assembles big, cheerful blocks of tropical color, invoking the falls with Matisse-like fronds of white and light blue. Short poems, often just 10 or 20 words long, adopt the voices of the animals that fill the rain forest around the falls: "From our perch/ we ants can spot/ many people... holding digital cameras/ taking lots of photos... ignoring the great/ and tiny wonders/ all around them." Alarcón writes with a kind of bubbly reverence, avoiding the sententiousness that characterizes much save-the-rain forest literature. Each of the 26 poems appears in both English and Spanish, with many explanatory footnotes; together with the dense illustrations, the effect of the pages duplicates that of the rain forest, jam-packed with things to look at. Ages 6-up. (Aug.)

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Criticas

Gr 3-6

Located in northeastern Argentina, the Iguazú Falls is a natural wonder amid a protected stretch of subtropical rainforest. Yet, despite such consideration, the spreading deforestation is impacting the region. With the hope of raising readers' awareness and encouraging them to take action to protect the rainforests, Alarcón's tribute gives voice to 18 different animals, the land itself, and the people who vacation there. Ranging from a page to a few well-chosen lines, the poems express hope, longing, and give a unique perspective on life as a continuum, with each species filling a small niche. The artwork is lush, both in terms of palette and use of form, with the animals painted in great detail against a cut-paper background. The deep, vibrant, and arresting colors convey the great diversity and vivacity of rainforest life. The melding of visual and verbal art is masterful. Like Alarcón'sPoems to Dream Together/Poemas para soñar juntos(Lee & Low, 2005) and Iguanas in the Snow/Iguanas en la nieve(Children's Book Press, 2001), the language and humor have indelible appeal in both English and Spanish. An excellent tool for patterning student poetry, this is also excellent literature.-Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, Tacoma, WA

Children's Literature - Rosa Roberts
The Iguazu National Park encompasses three countries—Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Throughout the 26 short English and Spanish poems, readers will gain an insight to 18 different animals in this South American rainforest. Animals such as the toucan, lizard, jaguar, and monkey are presented with lively mixed media and textured illustrations. The poems are unified with the illustrations in an engaging manner for readers. These poems are a tribute to the animals and lush lands of the region. These bilingual poems can be utilized in classrooms and schools to educate youth about the deforestation and much needed preservation of the waterfalls and subtropical rainforest in Latin America as well as other places around the world. The beauty of the land and the animals is captured through the animals' voices, in Amerindian oral tradition. At the end of the collection of poems, readers will find information on how to assist the Iguazu National Park and tri-national conversation project. Reviewer: Rosa Roberts
Kirkus Reviews
This eye-catching combination of brilliant illustrations and eloquently crafted bilingual poems celebrates the animal life and natural beauty of the rainforest. Alarc-n reflects his love for the biological diversity of Argentina's Iguazu Waterfalls National Park in graceful free-verse poems expressed in the voices of birds, lizards, jaguar, monkeys, river turtles, giant ants and even the "pesty mosquitos." The simple words-often playfully integrated into the illustrations as shaped poems-stress the natural balance of the Iguazu and remind readers that "for all of us / wild animals and / plants of the rainforest / there are no limits / only one Earth / without borders." The multimedia illustrations feature lush, glowing paints that depict the animals (including humans) set against a backdrop of cut-paper strips that comprise the rainforest's verdant growth. A concluding verse, "Same Green Fate," explicitly states the overall theme: "protect all of us / for the Earth's fate / for your own sake / let's make the world / a true Ybira Reta- / a Land of the Trees." Stunning. (Picture book/poetry. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892392254
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Edition description:
Spanish-language Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 11 Years

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