cover image Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems

Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, illus. by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy, Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-90349-8

Elephants are the revered subject of Zimmer's lovingly crafted works. In one, a jubilant pachyderm describes the pleasures of mud-bathing ("slurp!/ thwonk!/ splat!/ Completely divine,/ muddy chocolate sublime/ splattered onto my skin—/ better yet, I'll dive in"), while a moving sonnet celebrates an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee: "Old friends reunite after decades apart;/ trumpets and rumblings as hopeful as light." Halsey and Addy's warm and expressive mixed-media collages incorporate vintage-looking illustrations and musical notation to emphasize the animal's various qualities, while avoiding overly anthropomorphic representations—while remaining attentive to the affection between a mother and baby elephant. Ages 5–8. (Feb.)