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PELICAN CHORUS by Edward Lear

PELICAN CHORUS

and Other Nonsense

By Edward Lear (Author) , Fred Marcellino (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-06-205062-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

 Three fine and time-honored tales from Lear: ``The New Vestments,'' with its rollicking mob of ``beasticles, birdlings, and boys'' who make short work of the gentleman's farcical attire; ``The Owl and the Pussycat,'' in which the elegant fowl and the beautiful puss take their wedding vows under the bong tree, ministered by a turkey; and ``The Pelican Chorus,'' the bittersweet story of a young pelican who leaves family and home on the banks of the River Nile for the arms of the crane king. There is little unsaid, or unthought, about Lear's smart and layered nonsense verse: When his fancy is on-line, the lark's on the wing, snail on the thorn, and all's well with children's lore. Marcellino's watercolors catch the mood of each piece: bright and riotous, loopily tender, ancient and two-edged, though--a temperamental quibble--he takes the sting out of the third tale by concocting a return of the daughter; it isn't hinted at in the verse and seems to undercut the ambiguity of the story. Lear never stales and Marcellino's luxurious productions add another fanciful dimension to such oddball entertainment. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)