Hoofbeats, Claws & Rippled Fins: Creature Poems

Overview

Inspired by Stephen Alcorn's magnificent animal portraits, popular poet and noted anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins commissioned thirteen poets to craft verses to match the eloquence of this art. The resulting celebration of art and nature captures the subtle intensity and striking textures of a renowned artist's relief-block prints in a unique homage to the power, mystery, and beauty of the natural world.
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Overview

Inspired by Stephen Alcorn's magnificent animal portraits, popular poet and noted anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins commissioned thirteen poets to craft verses to match the eloquence of this art. The resulting celebration of art and nature captures the subtle intensity and striking textures of a renowned artist's relief-block prints in a unique homage to the power, mystery, and beauty of the natural world.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Featuring new work by such favorites as Karla Kuskin, Ralph Fletcher, Janet S. Wong, and Alice Schertle, this collection forms a unique whole. Most of the 14 poems are free verse. From Rebecca Kai Dotlich's "Porcupine" ("Bedazzled by bristles,/bewhiskered with points") to Tony Johnston's "Iguana" ("humble as a glaze of mud") to Lillian Fisher's "Camel" ("He feasts upon brambles/And ploddingly ambles"), each selection reflects upon a different animal. Alcorn's duo-toned woodcuts face each poem on varying pastel-colored pages, creating an elegant-if not immediately child-appealing-look. Various sizes of type and changing directions of lines add to the highly rhythmic quality of the poems. This design is done well, and brings the different tones together nicely. The anthology doesn't compare in scope to Jack Prelutsky's The Beauty of the Beast (Knopf, 1997), but provides new material for the same audience. Fans of Douglas Florian, Richard Michelson, Valerie Worth, or of any of the fine poets in this collection will find plenty to enjoy here.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hopkins, the preeminent and prolific anthologist of children's poetry, teams up again with Alcorn for their second thematic collection (My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, 2000). This time, the collection focuses on 14 different animals, from the common, domestic variety to the more unusual. Several renowned poets are included (Lillian M. Fisher, Karla Kuskin, and Hopkins himself) as well as more contemporary poets (Ralph Fletcher and Janet S. Wong) and well-known authors who also write in other genres (Joseph Bruchac and Tony Johnston). The 14 poems are presented on jazzy, colored backgrounds with creative typographic treatments, including larger type for key words and several concrete poems (a fish poem with waves of words, an iguana's two-sentence tale curled into the shape of its tail). Alcorn's sophisticated relief block prints may not appeal to children at first glance, and the rather static cover design is not as dynamic as the art and poems inside. However, teachers will appreciate this fine work for its wide variety of poetic formats and the thought-provoking nature of the poems themselves, and with a helpful introduction by an adult, both art and poetry will find success with kids. (Poetry. 8-12)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An elegant poetic sampler for animal (and animal-art) lovers."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“An elegant poetic sampler for animal (and animal-art) lovers.”
Horn Book Magazine
"Alcorn’s powerful visual imagery underpins and binds together this striking tribute to the grandeur of nature’s creatures."
Booklist (Top 10 Youth Poetry 2003)
“The range of styles and tones will make these great additions to classroom poetry units.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune
"The images of the creatures are bold and impressive, and the poems are both serious and playful."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Stunning, detailed relief-block animal prints."
Best Children's Books of the Year 2002 - Bank Street
"Animals and more depicted in descriptive verse and powerful woodcuts."
(Top 10 Youth Poetry 2003) - Booklist
"The range of styles and tones will make these great additions to classroom poetry units."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An elegant poetic sampler for animal (and animal-art) lovers.”
Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year 2002
“Animals and more depicted in descriptive verse and powerful woodcuts.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688179427
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Noted poet Lee Bennett Hopkins has edited or authored numerous books for children, including the I Can Read Books Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees; A Pet for Me: Poems; and the ALA Notable Children's Book Surprises. The recipient of a Christopher Award and the University of Southern Mississippi's Medallion for "lasting contributions to children's literature," Mr. Hopkins lives in Florida.

Stephen Alcorn attended Italy's prestigious Istituto Statale d'Arte. He has illustrated such award-winning children's books as Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In 1993 he founded The Alcorn Studio & Gallery with his wife, botanical artist Sabina Fascione Alcorn.

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Table of Contents

Ruby 4
In and Out 6
Rooster 8
Night Hunter 10
Here's Frog 12
Easy Living 14
Iguana 16
She Likes to Hide 18
Camel 20
Triassic Triumph 22
Anteater 24
Porcupine 26
Buffalo 28
Full Moon and Owl 30
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