THE BEAST BOOK by Jan E. W. Eichel- Illus. Wah


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an Wahl's storytelling skill was demonstrated in the recent Pleasant Fieldmouse (1964- p. 49I, J-153). Less successful is this collection of Haiku-like animal portraits. These impressionistic word paintings, always seem to fall short of their mark, never really evoking the spirit of the animal. As a consequence, it is unlikely that readers will find interacting, or even particularly vivid such phrases as ""The Rhinoceros is exactly the same size as the Hippo""; A Giraffe's neck is hard to believe""; or even ""A Dromedary is a magic carpet with galloping hoof-beats."" The text is helped along by the unusually varied illustrations, which, in a dash of lines or a shrinking of dots, relate the images to the animals. The total effect is more sophisticated than the juvenile picture book set is likely to find comfortable, although adult buyers in bookstores may.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1964
Publisher: Harper & Row