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MIXED BEASTS by Kenyon Cox


by Kenyon Cox & illustrated by Wallace Edwards

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-55337-796-6
Publisher: Kids Can

This gallery of portmanteau beasts features new illustrations captioned by Cox’s ragged rhymes, which were originally published under the same title in 1904. In a finished, painterly style, Edwards places his often hilariously imagined subjects in elaborate settings. A chubby “Bumblebeaver”—“A cheerful and industrious beast, / He’s always humming as he goes / to make mud houses with his tail / Or gather honey with his nose”—cruises like a zeppelin over a mass of flowers. A large “Octopussycat” lounges in an overstuffed chair, sipping tea from a china cup while playing the violin. A “Pelicantelope” wields chopsticks over a sashimi platter. Readers will also meet the likes of the wheeled “Flamingocart,” the delectable “Creampuffin,” and in a final spread, thumbnail portraits of 32 more creatures, from the Fruit Bat (picture a banana with wings) to a nattily attired Treefrog, that had been tucked into the earlier scenes. Worth a visit, particularly for fans of Jack Prelutsky’s Scranimals (2002), illustrated by Peter Sís. (Picture book. 6-8)