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Friday, November 20, 2009

Absolutely Wild, poems by Dennis Webster and illustrations by Kim Webster Cunningham. David R Godine, 2009. $17.95 ages 4 and up

"A ptarmigan is a beautiful sight.
In summer she's brown; in winter, white.
Though this little bird has a difficult name
She's very proud of it all the same.
So always remember (I'll be emphatic)
The p is silent, as in pneumatic."

The sixteen poems included in this collection are full of fun, and interesting wordplay. They range from short to longer, none being more than 12 lines. The rhyme and rhythm are just what you want to read in a book of poetry for young children. Yet, they offer exemplary form and meter for those studying poetry in hopes of writing some of their own. These original poems were written by father Dennis and are accompanied by lovely hand-colored prints using linoleum blocks, artistically rendered by his daughter, Kim. The borders used to frame many of the illustrations and poems are boldly red and black, with strong design.

The focus is on a variety of animals, birds and a couple of other creatures whose existence is not so much appreciated by many prairie gardeners...the snail and the ant. This is an entertaining read for all and many of the poems are performance perfect!

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