Curious Creatures: Animal Poems

Overview

Filled with humorous and thought-provoking poems, this collection introduces young readers to some of the world's oddest animals including the earthworm, the echidna, the flying paradise snake of Borneo, and Western Australia's quokka. Buttressed with bright, lively illustrations, each poem is filled with intriguing facts about each animal, including the strangest of all creatures: man. 

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Overview

Filled with humorous and thought-provoking poems, this collection introduces young readers to some of the world's oddest animals including the earthworm, the echidna, the flying paradise snake of Borneo, and Western Australia's quokka. Buttressed with bright, lively illustrations, each poem is filled with intriguing facts about each animal, including the strangest of all creatures: man. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The 15 short poems in this raucous companion to Polisar’s Peculiar Zoo and Insect Soup feature a menagerie of mostly unsung animals (though “Man” is also the subject of a poem). Among them are the echidna (“His nose is long and tapered,/ He flicks his sticky spit./ His spiky tongue goes clicking/ Wherever it will fit”), quokka, and unau. Clark’s watercolor and ink images caricature the various animals, like a misbehaving vicuña who’s sitting in “time out” with a black eye and bandage. While the occasional line might raise eyebrows (“It’s not true that lemmings/ Commit suicide en masse”), animal lovers should welcome the irreverent but informative verse. Ages 7-9. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Catalogs a random spectrum of creatures and the exaggerated cartoon illustrations in bright colors accentuate each poem's action with humor."  —School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Paula Rohrlick
Like Polisar's previous titles, Insect Soup: Bug Poems and Peculiar Zoo, this title celebrates a variety of unusual animals in humorous poems. The creatures range from the exotic, such as the flying paradise snake of Borneo, the echidna and the quokka, to more commonly encountered species like the earthworm, the fly and the opossum. Two-page spreads depict the animals in boldly colored, fanciful illustrations—for instance, a vulture giving chase while clutching a fork and knife, or lemmings carrying luggage—accompanied by brief rhyming poems. The humor is sometimes geared more toward adults, as in the description of a vicuna as like a camel "with a bit more melodrama" or the poem "Beef," in which Polisar imagines a cow "would have a beef" with being considered food. The author conveys other messages as well, as in the poem on "Man," who is described as "arrogant and brash." A final page provides a few facts about each animal. This does not rise to the level of Ogden Nash's clever animal poems, but some will appreciate the humor, and the illustrations are eye-catching. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This volume of silly poetry catalogs a random spectrum of creatures, from the echidna with its two-foot-long tongue to the Flying Paradise Snake of Borneo, as well as common earthworms and houseflies. Much of the poetry has a heavy-handed message delivered in a slapstick way. "Beef" offers commentary on vegetarianism while the poem on vultures has much to say about following the crowd. "Man" is particularly severe: "He preys on other animals./He's arrogant and brash./He builds his home in every spot,/Then fills it all with trash." Exaggerated cartoon illustrations in bright colors accentuate each poem's action with humor. The back page gives brief information on each of the creatures included.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780938663522
  • Publisher: Rainbow Morning Music Alternatives
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Rainbow Morning Music Picture Books Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Louis Polisar is a four-time Parents Choice Award winner and the author of 10 books, including Don’t Do That, Haunted House Party, and Peculiar Zoo. He has performed at the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Kennedy Center as well as schools all over the United States and Europe. He has written songs for Sesame Street and the Weekly Reader, starred in an Emmy Award–winning television show for children, and has been featured regularly on the Learning Channel. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. David Clark has teamed with Barry on most of his books and is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He lives in Luray, Virginia.

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