Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
If Not For the Cat

If Not For the Cat

Fall 2004 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Author: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrator: Ted Rand
ISBN: 0060596775
Hardcover Price: $16.99
What animals "undulate, undulate / Gelatinously," and which ones survey the world "With telescope eyes"? The answers to these and other animal questions are the subject of this new book of children's poetry by Jack Prelutsky. While technically these seventeen poems are haiku, they read like riddles and offer children a new way to think about animal behavior and characteristics. A hummingbird's wings "sing," and in a mother kangaroo's pouch "Sleeps the future . . ./Delicate and frail." Prelutsky is a true master of language, and these poems are exquisite. Ted Rand's artwork is a striking combination of watercolors, ink, chalk and printmaking that beautifully matches Prelutsky's meditative words. This book will obviously appeal to animal lovers, but it also makes a great introduction to both non-rhyming poetry and to creative writing about the natural world.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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