by Deborah Ruddell
Book list In their latest picture-book poetry collection, the creators of Today at the Bluebird Café (2007) widen their focus beyond birds to an entire forest full of animals. Once again, the poems and artwork create whimsical scenarios that will amuse kids even as they subtly incorporate basic zoological facts. Children may need help putting a few lines into scientific context, as in a poem about an opossum who dreams about kangaroos, the cousins she has never known. The playful sounds ( Ponder yonder salamander ) are reminiscent of Karla Kuskin's work, and most of the rhyming selections feature animals with strong individual voices, such as that of the defiant fox, who refuses to be some spoiled little dog : I won't come when you call, / I won't jump for the ball. Rankin's ink-and-watercolor illustrations feature evocative, wooded landscapes throughout the seasons and expressive, memorable characters, including a lovesick badger, a preening raccoon, and a frog who suffers indigestion after a too-salty slug. Both lighthearted and substantive, this is a good choice for cross-curricular sharing.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2009 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
School Library Journal K-Gr 5-Another winner from the accomplished duo that created Today at the Bluebird Cafe (S & S, 2007). In one poem, a toad enumerates what it ate for lunch, "But I made a mistake/with the slug-on-a-stick-/a smidgen too salty-/and now I feel sick." The classic art project of a turkey produced from a child's handprint inspires a delightful response from the turkey, "Finally, I'm baffled/that you've made me look so dumb./My head is quite distinguished/and it's nothing like your thumb." A fox with paws crossed explains why he will never be a pet, "I won't come when you call,/I won't jump for the ball," sounding humorously like Green Eggs and Ham. A lovely description of spring, "A million arms in woody sleeves/wave a zillion brand-new leaves," evokes the majesty of nature magnificently. Richly glowing watercolors accompany these delightful poems about woodland flora and fauna. A charming spread showcasing the animals featured in the poems is repeated on the endpapers, and the vivid cover is irresistible. This beautifully designed book displays large bold font that stands out clearly on bright white paper and is edged by robust watercolors. Perfect for sharing aloud-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.