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From the team that brought us the wonderful Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant eight years ago comes STARDINES Swim High Across the Sky: And Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated with phenomenal collages by Carin Berger.

I was fortunate to get a copy of this book last fall, as part of my duties judging the first round for the CYBILS Awards. The book picks up where Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant left off, with poems based on portmanteau words, and clever illustrations that practically leap off the pages. There is a poem about "stardines", of course, and one about "chormorants", busy birds that do lots of domestic tasks all day. There are "panteaters", which eat pants all day, and are not to be confused with a similar-looking animal, the "bardvarks", which "think they're poets/And persist in writing rhyme."

Here is a photograph I took of the two-page spread containing the poem, "Plandas", followed by the text of the poem, so you can get an idea what the book looks like on the inside, but really, it's worth picking up a copy for yourself to appreciate it fully.


Plandas sit around all day,
Planning what to do.
Their plans amount to nothing,
For they never see them through.
They plan to run a marathon
Or take a railroad trip.
They plan to cross the ocean
On a wooden sailing ship.

They plan to learn to roller-skate,
To juggle, and to fence.
They plan to go to clown school
And cavort in circus tents.
They plan to play the saxophone
And form their own brass bands. . . .
But Plandas never do these things--
They just keep making plans.

By turns funny and lyrical, with several poems that will give you something to ponder for a while, and art that is gobsmackingly good. My thanks to the good folks at HarperCollins for the review copy.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
My library has a copy - yay! I'm picking it up today.
Apr. 8th, 2014 08:38 pm (UTC)
I think you'll like the poems and flip for the artwork!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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