Illustrated Dick King-Smith Alphabeasts

ISBN 13: 9780027507201

Alphabeasts

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9780027507201: Alphabeasts

An entertaining assortment of animals of all shapes and sizes--from the anaconda to the zambra--populates a zany bestiary filled with a collection of witty poetry. All ages.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-6-- A somewhat sober introduction ushers in a collection of animal verses that is anything but heavy. The poems in this alphabetical bestiary, featuring one creature per letter per double-page spread, are in rhymed, nonsense verse reminiscent of Nash's sly humor. However, they lack the wit and punch of the latter. The animals, from bandicoots to viscachas, geckos to zambra, are often viewed with an ironic eye to the threat they can pose to others. The language is lively and will sometimes challenge readers, but the rhythms and humor often just miss; the satisfying snap of a point well made is too often just not there. Children will get more pleasure from Blake's kinetically attenuated ink-and-wash line drawings. They manage to capture the comic aspects of the verses without literal interpretation and leave youngsters' imaginations free to roam the poem with the page's goofily gawky denizens. Some of these verses--often quatrains, but never more than 12 lines total--are genuinely funny and pointed, but one had higher hopes for this potentially inspired team. Ogden Nash's Custard and Company (Little, 1985), selected and illustrated by Blake, lacks the full-color fun and animals-only focus of Alphabeasts , but is overall a more entertaining volume, as is John Gardner's A Child's Bestiary (Knopf, 1977; o.p.). --Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Heirs of Edward Lear and relatives of the Steigs, these well-matched wags marshal a menagerie of unfamiliar animals, from anaconda to zambra ("a bison of old Lithuania"). King-Smith's exuberant nonsense verse lures beasts of all kinds into the limelight, where Blake's illustrations capture their comic combination of daffiness and dignity. For example, impatient long- and short-nosed bandicoots hem and haw as scientists apply tape measures to their "snoots." Dextrous rhymes are pitched with hilarity: "The American Elk--also known as the wapiti-- / Runs through the maple woods, clippety-cloppety. / Favored with feet of remarkable property, / Wapitis never have need of chiropody." A prefatory poem warning of the horrors of extinction adds a timely note to this exercise in zany zoography. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Dick King-Smith
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Pu (1992)
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