I’ve wanted to review this poetry book since we read it for the first time last April, and I’m finally getting around to it! Everyone knows Jack Prelutsky, right? He’s the author of many, many books of poetry, including Something Big Has Been Here and It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles, among many others. What I like about this particular collection, Scranimals, is that it’s thematic, so it’s easy to get into the groove and enjoy lots of poems at a time without having to start all over again and figure out each poem, and it’s super silly, of course. The idea is that there’s an island called Scranimal Island, and on it live all sorts of fanciful creatures the likes of which you’ll never see in a zoo. All of the animals are combinations of things, and it’s Prelutsky’s choice of animals, vegetables, and fruits in combination that makes this so much fun. An ostricheetah? Yes! A rhinocerose? Absolutely! Spinachickens? Delightful! I think my favorite is the potatoad:
On a bump beside a road
Sits a lowly POTATOAD,
Of its own existence there.
See what I mean? Oh, and let me not forget the radishark:
In the middle of the ocean,
In the deep deep dark,
Dwells a monstrous apparition,
The detested RADISHARK.
It’s an underwater nightmare
That you hope you never meet,
For it eats what it wants,
And it always wants to eat.
Peter Sís’s artwork is the perfect combination of ludicruosness and menace, to the point that as we’re reading, we’re thinking, “Oh, I know there’s no such thing as a bananaconda. . . or is there?” 😉
I took this book on the road to the elementary class at our homeschool group meeting the last Friday in April (in honor of National Poetry Month, you know). The students loved it! Then we handed out art supplies and animal pictures (cut from my stash of Ranger Ricks) and let the students make their own scranimals. Here are some of their creations:
Aren’t these great? You just can’t go wrong with Jack Prelutsky. 🙂
It’s Poetry Friday around the Kidlitosphere. Visit Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup for more posts!