Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems
Children's poetry, American
From the critics
NYPL Staff Pick
Meet the Jollyfish, who are always happy, and the Panteaters, who have a hankering for tasty trousers. Unusual miniature dioramas of mishmashed creatures draw readers into a hilarious world of words and ideas
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Forget everything you ever knew about animals. Not since On Beyond Zebra has the world seen a menagerie quite as wild as the one on display here. Step right up, folks, and take a gander at the rare and remarkable Fountain Lion. “The only lions no one dreads, / They all have fountains on their heads.” Delicious crustaceans more your speed? Then come and observe the rare Slobsters. “Their sense of decorum / Is woefully small. / Slobsters don’t have / Many manners at all.” Or for the kiddies, how about an adorable Planda? “They plan to learn to roller-skate, / To juggle, and to fence. / They plan to go to clown school / And cavort in circus tents.” With his customary clever verse, Jack Prelutsky invents sixteen imaginary animals of varying degrees of odd. Accompanying his rhymes is his old partner-in-crime Carin Berger, who has moved beyond mere collage and has gone so far to construct elaborate shadow boxes of each and every poem. The end result is impressive, hilarious, and one of the most original little poetry collections you’ll see in many a year.
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“The SOBCAT is sad / As a feline can be / And spends its time crying / Continuously. / It has no real reason / To be so morose. / It’s simply its nature / To act lachrymose.”
“BARDVARKS think they’re poets / And persist in writing rhyme. / Their words are uninspired / And a total waste of time . . . Undeterred, they keep on writing / And reciting every day. / That’s why BARDVARKS are a problem – / You can’t make them go away.”
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