Pug and Other Animal Poems

Valerie Worth, illus. by Steve Jenkins. FSG/Ferguson, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-35024-6
In the late Worth’s follow-up to Animal Poems (2007), sharply observant and powerfully descriptive verses portray fauna in both wild and domesticated environments. Of a captive Bengal tiger, Worth writes, “Is it too wicked/ To wish/ He would break out,/ Fill the zoo/ With storms,/ Run his lightning/ Into the world?” Jenkins casts his typically precise and expressive cut-paper compositions against bright, spare backgrounds. With each poem, Worth expresses fascination and astonishment at each animals’ singular, sometimes alien existence. Toads are “Leathery/ Lumps of/ Earth with/ Gilded eyes,” while a cicada is “A fairy/ Tale come/ True: the/ Humped brown/ Gnome split/ Up the back,/ The silver-/ Caped prince/ Set free.” A resonant and soulful compilation. Ages 4–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 03/19/2013
Genre: Children's
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