The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems From Beyond the Solar Systemby Jack Prelutsky, Jimmy Pickering (Illustrator)
Jack Prelutsky’s exploration of outer space is not for the faint of heart. No friendly little E.T.–type aliens await your arrival. There are many imaginative ways to perish in these darkly comedic cautionary verses about unexplored worlds so far beyond our solar system. The final poem is an environmental tour de force that packs a wallop. Here are poems the older reader will find great fun to memorize and rattle off to anyone who will listen! And there is a special bonus: anagrams for the kid who loves word puzzles.
The nation's first children's poet laureate fills a galaxy with weird, scary planets: his 19 poems describe places and creatures you wouldn't want to visit. On planet "Lonithor," for example, "demon birds... eviscerate their prey./ And when they've disemboweled you,/ They'll pick apart your face"; on "Ogdofod" the monopods "will snare you in their nets,/ Then process you and package you/ To feed their hungry pets." Pickering's (Skelly the Skeleton Girl ) amusing illustrations suggest images for a Tim Burton movie. A tourist on "Drifig Prime" resembles a frozen Corpse Bride and someone who stumbles on Planet Grob looks a lot like Edward Scissorhands. Less broad in its appeal than most of Prelutsky's previous titles, this over-the-top intergalactic odyssey will mostly please kids capable of relishing horror and its send-ups ("You laugh till you wish / You'd expire of laughter, / And in that same second, / you mercifully do"). For added fun, about half of the planet names are anagrams; a key is listed at the end. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nineteen poems with jaunty rhythms lure readers to some very menacing planets. Almost all tell of the horrors to be found in worlds beyond our solar system: "The cooks of Gazook/Will reduce you to powder,/And use you to flavor/Their savory chowder." The bugs of Gum simply eat visitors alive. Planet Swole envelopes guests in despair, while Skreber kills them with laughter. The last poem shows alien explorers visiting an unfortunate planet where the inhabitants cause each other harm and suffer terribly. The final page turn reveals this planet to be one that readers know all too well-and call home. Dark colors with sharp contrasts help define these worlds in mixed-media illustrations. Some of the unusual planet names are anagrams to solve with answers in the back of the book. Science-fiction and poetry lovers should unite over this slim and entertaining volume.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.42(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.36(d)
- Age Range:
- 6 - 9 Years
Meet the Author
Jack Prelutsky was named our nation’s first Children’s Poet Laureate in 2006. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Jimmy Pickering’s deliciously scary illustrations have appeared in several picture books, and his art has enhanced the covers of all of Debi Gliori’s Pure Dead series. He lives in Astoria, Oregon.
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