National Geographic: Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!

J Patrick Lewis, Editor
Edited by J. Patrick Lewis. National Geographic, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4263-1009-6
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Gorgeous, full-bleed photographs of wild and domesticated animals accompany animal-focused poems ranging from classic works to the writings of modern children’s poets. Lewis creates compelling juxtapositions on each page—the Navajo poem “Song of a Bear” appears next to Jane Yolen’s “Grandpa Bear’s Lullaby,” and a dense school of Bali sardines, described as “ballerinas of the blue” in the accompanying haiku, almost resemble a shimmering tutu. The tone can vary from silly to sublime and sad: “Those who saw the buffaloes are gone./ And the buffaloes are gone,” laments Carl Sandburg’s “Buffalo Dusk.” The imagery and verse delight in equal parts in this engrossing celebration of animals in nature, the backyard, and in the imagination. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)