Kids love to make animal noises.
The 13 poems in this collection vary in style, but all rely heavily on accurate animal sounds made by mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, and fish. A “performance key” on the contents page gives instructions for the proper reading by “two or more readers.” The poems are printed primarily in two colors, each meant for a reader (or readers) to read alternately, with a third signifying unison. The last poem, “Forest Orchestra,” has a different pattern, explained on that page, and could lead to a culminating symphony of sounds. With an adult leader to direct, the poems could become part of a creative performance piece, and use as a home read-aloud could lead to playful adult-child interaction. The bold, digital illustrations have a painterly feel. “Rattlesnake’s Warning,” with its words printed in white and orange on a black double-page spread, is wonderfully enhanced by a coiled snake with mouth agape and two sharp fangs waiting. This poem is one of the more powerful, with its short verses: “By night, / I see your heat / as I slither / near your feet” punctuated by the “chhhhhh-chhhhhh-chhhhhh” sound of the rattle. Fascinating closing notes offer opportunities for caregivers to extend the instruction, but children aren’t likely to peruse these dense pages.
In the hands of the right presenter, this book could lead to exciting aural experiences. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)