THE SWEET AND SOUR ANIMAL BOOK by Langston Hughes

THE SWEET AND SOUR ANIMAL BOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Published for the first time, this book of poems for children covers animals for all the letters of the alphabet (except for X, which gets a poem but no animal). Some of the poems are educational, some are just fun: ""What use/Is a goose/Except to quackle?/If a goose/Can't quackle/She's out of whackle."" Many of them offer moral lessons: ""A lion in a zoo,/Shut up in a cage,/Lives a life/Of smothered rage."" Hughes (1902--67) really speaks to today's children, and who better to illustrate his poems than the children of the Harlem School of the Arts? Their sculptures perfectly complement the whimsical tone of Hughes's poetry. Although it's hard to tell what kind of artists these children will be when they grow up, right now they are marvelous. An autobiographical introduction by entertainer Ben Vereen and a biographical afterword about Hughes by George P. Cunningham (Africana studies/Brooklyn College) round out the volume. Harlem Renaissance poet Hughes and young Harlem artists together create a fun, provocative, and visually exciting abecedary.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0195120302
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Oxford Univ.