animal poems


Animal Poems by Valerie Worth, illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Came in the mail for Whale Child today (why am I getting these books in dribs and drabs, I wonder. More irritably than not.) Stay tuned.

*Update*: Like the other kid poetry book we reviewed recently, this one has fab illustrations — paper-cuts, simply and  elegantly done. However, this one has much better poems. Conversely, though, they are therefore less easily attractive to Whale Child — no friendly thumping di- or trimeter, no in-your-face alliteration, and more complex thoughts and vocabulary. In Bat, for example, we read:

He cleaves to
The cave roof
Like a grim
flake of flint

and a bit later on:

Knowing no better
Than hardheaded
Earth does,
That in his
Own blind
Veins run
The lighthearted lavas
Of the sun.

Some new words for a six-year-old, as well as some combinations (“hardheaded Earth” and “lighthearted lavas”) that we spent a while discussing.

In sum, this is one to pick up to read a poem or two at at time, rather than running through most of the book at a single sitting.

Published by

Nic Sebastian

Nic is the author of Forever Will End On Thursday and Dark And Like A Web. She founded the now-archived Whale Sound site and is co-founder of The Poetry Storehouse. Nic blogs at Very Like A Whale and Voice Alpha.

5 thoughts on “animal poems”

  1. Do tell us how it is. For kids or not, I’m always fond of creature poems.

    Also, thanks for the couple of mentions you’ve given me over the past while. I do appreciate it.

    And nice to see you posting on the ‘sis board.

  2. Please let your whaleling know that bats are not blind. For the most part, the worst of them sees better than a rhino, and some have really excellent vision. Some bats hunt only with their eyes; many more hunt by echolocation–some owls use their ears to hunt, too: but nobody calls owls blind on account of that. Also, bats are mammals (chiroptera), but they are not rodents; they’re more related to shrews (not rodents, either). So, even though the Aztecs revered them and called them quimichpapalotl (butterfly mouse–a very cool name), they really aren’t butterflies or mice. (Pronounce “quimich” as kimich.)

  3. Will do, although he has not latched on to that point. He is quite an expert on echolocation, as we have been doing a lot of reading around the orca lately. Great to hear from you, Bill!

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