cover image Beastly Verse

Beastly Verse

JooHee Yoon. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-59270-166-7

In her U.S children’s book debut, Yoon creates a monstrous menagerie to accompany 16 poems about animals real and imagined. Her bold, vintage-looking prints use only three colors—a lurid yellow, bright pink, and creamy teal—that overlap to create secondary shades. The sharply contrasting colors make the grinning, grimacing, snarling creatures seem to pulse with electricity, and foldout pages enhance the sense of movement. Opening a large flap turns D.H. Lawrence’s “Humming-Bird” into a fearsome prehistoric beast with pointed teeth and a snaking tongue: “In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation./ I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.” Other poems include Ogden Nash’s “The Eel,” William Blake’s “The Tiger,” and Palmer Brown’s ‘The Spangled Pandemonium,” a long-tailed animal that goes missing from the zoo. A fierce and fresh bestiary. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)