Animals in Surprising Shades
Poems About Earth's Colorful Creatures
by Susan Johnston Taylor, Illustrated by Annie Bakst
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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2023
Rosy pinks, regal blues, radiant greens
Adorn birds, bugs, snails, slugs.
Instead of paint on canvas,
Nature colors feathers, fur, skin, scales.
But if some see these creatures as
Oddball or off-the-wall,
Why not delight in their whimsy and wonder?
For young poets who love science and young scientists who love poetry, this thoughtful collection of poems about fascinating and colorful creatures found throughout the world invites readers to linger and wonder on every page. Learn why the Blue-footed Booby puts on a special dance or how the Picasso Bug uses its masterful chemical defense against predators. Explore simple and fun poetic forms like the tanka, haiku, and quatrain. Just be sure to take good notes! An interactive component rewards practicing poets seeking to challenge themselves further.
With gorgeous illustrations and a rainbow of colors to complement the lyrical and engaging text, this book will fit nicely on the shelves of any classroom or library where kids are interested in science, writing or the arts.
From School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—This engaging collection of poems explores science and literature to describe some of the world's more colorful creatures. Short, inviting poems geared for elementary students combine clever and engaging phrasing with facts about the creatures described. For instance, "Pink Manta Ray" begins: "In a/ sea of teal,/ a blink of pink!" Text on the opposite side of the spread explains that a pink manta ray was first spotted in 2015 and shares scientists' theories about the creature's unusual coloring. The poem is written in the shape of a manta ray, and a separate block of text notes that "A concrete poem takes the physical shape of the subject, like this manta ray." Other poetic forms, such as haiku, tanka, and quatrain, are used and defined with other poems. An interactive component quiz challenges practicing poets further by asking, mid-book, "Can you match the poems on the pages that follow with the correct poetic form presented in the first part of this book?" Answers are in the back, along with a glossary and a list of sources. Poems are accompanied by bright and engaging illustrations described as "traditional gouache drawing and paintings…enhanced digitally in the artwork of each page." These colorful spreads are a lovely complement to the lively poems. This combination of science and poetry should delight young readers, encourage young writers, and spur interest in young scientists. VERDICT A STEAM-themed poetry collection that should have broad appeal for young readers and will be a welcome addition to the shelves. Recommended.—Carole Phillips
Average rating from 15 members
Thank you, Gnome Road Publishing, for the advance reading copy.
I find the colourful graphic illustrations really good. They do stand out. I find the information given on the few beings informative and ideal for the reading age group.
However, I wish there were more.
But good nevertheless!
Welcome to the wonderful world of nature!
Each fauna presents with the Name of fauna with Poem, a simple definition of the Poetic Form for each, and a simple bit of Science. At the end there a glossary and some sources.
The illustrations by Annie Bakst are simply delightful, brilliantly colored, and memorable.
Well suited for reading WITH someone of any age including ESL and nonverbal, and great for gifting to anyone, but especially to a school or your public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Gnome Road Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you!
If poems and fun, bright animals are your (or your kids') thing, then this is the book for you! Different styles of poems with information on their forms accompany poems and facts about each animal. Animals mentioned include strawberry poison dart frogs, blue-footed booby birds, pink manta rays, and more. This book is the perfect read aloud for any elementary age science class, whether you homeschool or teach in public school.
Brilliant concept! I find this book doubly informative, in the sense that it is not only about the colourful diversity of animals, but also about various poetic forms. The poems are fun and the illustrations are beautiful. I just love it!
This is the second book by Gnome Road Press I’ve read, and I am glad to see the same high quality and nature-related themes. One minor suggestion is perhaps to use a dyslexic friendly font to make the books even more accessible? I’ve seen some other children’s books do that and it feels much more inclusive. And of course audiobook (given that it’s a poem!) and tactile/braille versions would be wonderful too.
Thank you again Gnome Road Publishing for this ARC.
Not only are the poems delightful, the colorful illustrations pop. I love the extra information on the page, including the explanation of all the different poetic forms the author used, as well as interesting facts about the animals written about. A wonderful poetry book to add to a home or classroom collection!