Flutter & Hum: Animal Poems/Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales

Julie Paschkis. Holt, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62779-103-8
In 12 tantalizing poems, written in English and Spanish, Paschkis shows herself to be a sensitive observer of the animal kingdom, as well as of language itself, finding humor, eccentricities, and unexpected connections in both. The two versions of each poem aren’t exact mirrors (in English, a grazing cow enjoys a “Slow munch./ All day lunch,” while in Spanish it’s “Una comida/ sin fin”), and finding the intersections and divergences in the verse is a thrill. A sense of linguistic interconnectivity is also evident in Paschkis’s warm gouache paintings, which (like her work in Pablo Neruda) features words painted on leaves, grasses, and swirling waters, reading like exercises in rhyme, alliteration, and word association (in a rainy scene, crows are painted with word pairs like crass/brash and brujo/brusco). Paschkis’s imagery can be haunting, contemplative, or playful (a “dancing whale” becomes a “ballena bailarina”), and the results are uniformly excellent. Ages 4–8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/2014
Release date: 08/18/2015
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