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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Carin Berger. Greenwillow Books, Harper. 2013. $19.99 ages 6 and up

"SLOBSTERS are slovenly,
SLOBSTERS are crude.
SLOBSTERS love smashing
and smushing their food.
Their sense of decorum
is woefully small.
SLOBSTERS don't have
Many manners at all."

I had to look back to see that I have only posted one book during National Poetry Month.! What the what? So, that run ends today with a new book by one of our favorite poets. Jack Prelutsky is back with a wondrous collection of creatures that we have not yet had the chance to meet. Until now, who knew there were stardines who swim across the sky to 'illuminate the darkest nights? Or bluffaloes who only seem so impressive and powerful? I would now like to introduce:

"CHORMORANTS are busy birds
That toil from sun to sun.
They labor over senseless chores
They're certain must be done.
They work at this, they work at that,
And never think to ask
If they accomplish anything
With any pointless task.

CHORMORANTS are serious
They have no use for jest.
They feel it is their destiny
To rarely ever rest.
They're strangers to frivolity
And neither sing nor dance.
Their days are endless drudgery -
Poor boring CHORMORANTS."

I am so NOT a chormorant! Thank goodness!! When would I have time to read?

This prolific poet fills the pages with witty wordplay and unfamiliar creatures in abundance. Each one gave me a giggle and they are sure to entertain those readers who love to be challenged. Jack Prelutsky never backs down from using sophisticated language when writing his poetry. His strong rhythms and rhymes assure meaning despite unfamiliarity with words such as 'aqueous', 'decorum', 'effervescence' and 'morose'. Kids will love the lively language, the humor and the imagination that allows for dreaming up new species with the simple addition of, or change to a letter. Brilliant!

Brilliant and incredible help to give you a sense for the artwork created by Carin Berger to accompany these imaginative and funny poems. It is described in front matter:

"The miniature dioramas in this book are assemblages created using a combination of cut paper, found ephemera, vintage engravings ( which were scanned, manipulated in Photoshop, and then printed out) , beeswax, wire, thread and wood. Once each piece was made, it was then photographed digitally to prepare the full-color art."

Enough said? I think not, but I cannot possibly do justice to the images that accompany each poem. You need to get your hands on this book and share, share, share it!

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