"MICE SQUEAK, WE SPEAK" by Arnold L. Shapiro


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Although Shapiro's name does not appear on the jacket, it is his elemental and immediate poem about animals--including humans--and the sounds they make that is set to dePaola's handsome illustrations. Readers meet coyotes, doves, chickens, and others: ""Cats purr. Lions roar. Owls hoot. Bears snore."" ""But I speak,"" ""But I say,"" ""But I talk"" are the three human responses, allowing dePaola to use children of different races to be included in the exercise. It's a merry communication free-for-all, and repeat readings ought to lead to a measure of audience participation. The artwork is painted in elegant muted colors, each image looking like a lovely, folk-art postage stamp. A couple of the creatures appear in unusual settings: a cricket before a glowing bed of embers, a fly surrounded by an aura of hums. But for the most part the cow is in the corn (mooing), the pig is in the poke (squealing), and the bats are in the belfry (screeching), and all is well with the world. So why is Shapiro not given credit up front?

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1997
ISBN: 0698118731
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam