Friday, January 20, 2012
I've Lost My Hippopotamus, written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. Harper, 2012. $19.99 ages 4 and up
Exists for her to hatch it.
My puppy seems to think a bug
Exists for him to catch it.
My kitten seems to think her fur
Exists for her to lick it.
My brother seems to think his nose
Exists for him to pick it."
Oh, yes! You know you will be going back to read that one again. I recently told you about Shel Silverstein's newest book, Every Thing On It (Harper, 2011). Along comes Jack Prelutsky to add another book of lively poetry to his long list of publications. He shared the spotlight with Mr. Silverstein in each of my early years classrooms as another of our favorite poets.
Mr. Prelutsky has a remarkable way of fitting words together and of choosing unusual words that would rarely come up in conversation. He appears to do it effortlessly...the words just flow over the tongue. I am sure it is not the case. He cannot possibly have all those perfectly chosen words and faultless rhymes on the tip of his tongue. His hard work certainly makes for a fun read!
"An antelope was feeling ill,
But to her great elation,
The doctor quickly healed her
With an anteloperation."
And here's one that works perfectly for fun in the math class:
"My snake can do arithmetic,
My snake is far from dumb,
My snake can take two numbers
And come up with a sum.
She can't subtract, which makes her sad,
And two things make her sadder..
She can't divide or multiply -
My snake is just an adder."
That is not going to have the same impact for little ones as it will have for older readers. This collection is wide-ranging with appeal for many readers. With characteristic humor and skill, the poet conjures a collection of imaginary creatures within its pages. He includes the thopp, the fiff, and a menagerie of new animals named the flamingoat, the asparagoose, and the kangarulers, to name but a few of them. Such fun...listeners and readers will soon have favorites.
Because I know about children and the bathroom humor that constantly has them in stitches, I want to include:
"A centipede was thirsty,
But to satisfy its need,
It drank too much for it to hold -
And so the centipede."
And, because I have a warm spot in my heart for libraries and librarians, I will end with this one about the bookworm:
"I love books. Yes, I love books.
Oh books, it's hard to beat you.
I give you long and loving looks,
And then I slowly eat you."