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AROUND THE WORLD ON EIGHTY LEGS by Amy Gibson

AROUND THE WORLD ON EIGHTY LEGS

By Amy Gibson (Author) , Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-439-58755-6
Publisher: Scholastic

The “Eighty Legs” of the title refer to sum of all the animals (their legs, actually) within—such animals as the Japanese macaques that need a Jacuzzi “when winter is a doozy” and an echidna that's described as “Pointy, poky. / Prickly, stickly.” Amusing poems, some simple, others more sophisticated, about unusual and well-known animals from South America, the Arctic and Antarctic, Africa, Asia and Australia fill this volume. Most of North America and Europe are ignored, but from the quetzal to the cassowary, kids will go on quite a journey. The watercolor, gouache and colored-pencil illustrations are comical; the toothy goanna’s portrait takes up a whole page, with his long tail going off the edge and then curving around the top. On another double-page spread, the Australian outback stretches into the distance with one furious dingo “penned” on one side of a fence and an endless, calm flock of sheep on the other. While there is no index of titles or first lines, a “Menagerie of Facts”—interesting tidbits about each animal mentioned—is arranged alphabetically with the animal names highlighted in red. A very general map provides some geographic orientation. This collection will be enjoyed in home, classroom (the poet is a former teacher) and library settings, where young poets can try writing their own verses. Not very scientific, but fun. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)