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Oodles of Animals

Overview

In this exuberant collection, Lois Ehlert celebrates the animal kingdom with quirky, playful rhymes and bold collage illustrations that perfectly capture the spirit of each creature. Sixty-four of her favorite animal friends are here, from hamsters to monkeys, geckos to mountain goats--and with its clever combination of fact and wordplay, this stunning volume is as fun to read as it is to look at.

Includes an ...

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Overview

In this exuberant collection, Lois Ehlert celebrates the animal kingdom with quirky, playful rhymes and bold collage illustrations that perfectly capture the spirit of each creature. Sixty-four of her favorite animal friends are here, from hamsters to monkeys, geckos to mountain goats--and with its clever combination of fact and wordplay, this stunning volume is as fun to read as it is to look at.

Includes an author's note.
Visit www.HarcourtBooks.com/LoisEhlert for activity sheets and more!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ehlert (Wag a Tail) finds freshreason to marvel at creatures great and small in this vibrant, oversize book, longer than her previous titles. Portraits of various animals, from caterpillar to elephant, each pair with a short rhyme about what makes the beast or bird distinct ("Penguins know/ from birth/ their wings won't fly/ from Earth"; "A newt looks cute/ in its polka-dot suit"). Her arresting signature cut-paper collages strike a playful balance between boldness of color and simplicity of shape. The result is a series of fluid compositions as the artist uses pinking shears and hole punches to add texture to triangles, semicircles, hearts and the like, and then cleverly combines and layers them to convey depth, movement and humor. She remains a master at creating spreads that are chock-full of things to see, but never crowded or too busy in their design. Ages 3-7. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 8.

In brief, deftly rhymed couplets Ehlert celebrates sixty-four animals and other creatures she likes. Some get a double or single page all to themselves; others are crowded on page spreads. From "Flies on a log/ might be lunch/ for a frog" and "Ugly/ bugs/ don't get/ hugs" to "Furry hips, big ears and lips,/ a chimp looks rather zany./ But inside, between those ears,/ a chimpanzee is brainy," the variety of characters is amazing. Solid colored papers limited to nine geometric shapes are Ehlert's visual building blocks. She analyzes each creature, visually seeking its "distinctive features," such as the buffalo's square head, the dolphin's half-moon leaping body, and the pig's elliptical fatness. She chooses colors, however, for esthetic effect, not naturalism, although the fox's redness and the beaver's brown seem to have roots in nature. She enjoys bright color contrasts and designs that draw us into their organization. She has added notes about her method of working, perhaps to inspire young budding artists. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- Kids will have a grand time poring over the pictures in Ehlert's latest offering. A variety of animals, from insects to birds to giant mammals, is represented in her trademark cut-paper collage style. The artist uses scissors, pinking shears, and a hole punch to transform brightly colored papers into squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, diamonds, half circles, ovals, hearts, and teardrops of different sizes, which she then fashions into a menagerie guaranteed to spark readers' imaginations. Each creature is coupled with a short, humorous poem that is sure to delight: "If her tail's raised/give a skunk room,/unless you like/pee-yoo perfume." And who can resist this ditty: "A cat/is a purr/wrapped up/in fur." Young children will enjoy identifying the animals while older kids will be inspired to grab some scissors and paper to create their own geometric zoo. Teachers can use this book to jump-start art and creative writing lessons, but kids will just like it because it's oodles of fun.-Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Kirkus Reviews
Ehlert's latest juxtaposes riveting, super-stylized cut-paper collages with uneven verses about animals from insects to mammals. While a few spry textual gems stand out, the majority underwhelms in both technique and substance. "Duck" epitomizes the best of the menagerie-slightly awkward in construction, but sweetly metaphoric: "A duck lays down / its sleepy head / upon its breast- / a feather bed." Some verses are jarringly brief-"Leave / a rat / where / it's at"-while clunky scansion or tired sentiments mar others-"If you eat / like a pig, / sooner or later, / you will be big." Employing nine shapes, pinking shears and a hole punch, the artist distills each animal's attributes, often by exaggerating them, and makes her collages pop by layering opposing colors of equal tonality. A stingray's prominent eyes are pairs of blue circles on day-glow orange ones, while a flamingo's pink, orange and red shapes pulse against a grass-green background. Alas, Ehlert's brilliantly conceived and stunningly executed graphics shine far brighter than her text. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152062743
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 457,030
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

LOIS EHLERT has created many picture books, including Leaf Man, Pie in the Sky, In My World, Growing Vegetable Soup, Planting a Rainbow, and the bestselling Waiting for Wings. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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