Kirkus Reviews QR Code


A Bright Bestiary

by Julie Larios & illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-15-205422-7
Publisher: Harcourt

Fourteen familiar animals are the focus of this poetry collection, with each poem describing one animal’s color and personality. The assigned colors are sometimes a realistic color for that animal (a brown mouse, a white owl), but more often, the particular color reflects an aspect of the creature’s personality (an angry red donkey, for example, or a perky purple puppy) or the animal’s surroundings (the titular yellow elephant “galumphing along” in the jungle sunshine). The poems are short, accessible and mainly non-rhyming, though many have subtle internal rhymes or a single rhyming couplet. The elegant design features the poems on the left-hand pages surrounded by white space and balanced with a small, vertical illustration of the particular animal. The right-hand pages are full-page paintings in gouache of the brilliantly colored creatures, with each animal set against a patterned background suggestive of its environment. The inventive colorations will intrigue children, who might wish to meet a pink kitty or a turquoise lizard. (Poetry. 4-8)