CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS by Judith Chernaik

CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS

Poems Inspired by Saint-Saëns' Music
edited by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

From James Berry’s grand “Lion,” “staring with fearless look / Wild beast outdoing all,” to Kit Wright’s annoyed hens, who dismiss the proud cock as “just a feathered fathead / With a very silly walk!” the 13 new, short poems here echo the general tone of each section in Saint-Saëns’s ever-popular work—though to call them “inspired” is, with some notable exceptions, pushing it. Each poem is presented in a different typeface, and Kitamura gives each spread a different look, passing, for instance, from thick jangles of piano keys (“Pianists”) to a bony orchestra of “Fossils,” then on to an elegant “Swan” gliding on a cool blue pond. Though some animals, such as Gillian Clarke’s “Cuckoo,” who “grows fat on murder, and in a stolen house / sings her two notes in an angel’s voice,” will linger with readers, in general the writing is so prosaic that most of the menagerie will pass without eliciting much response. A limp effort, particularly next to John Lithgow’s exuberant interpretation, illustrated by Boris Kulikov (2004). (CD) (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2960-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2006




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