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PUG by Valerie Worth


And Other Animal Poems

by Valerie Worth ; illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 6 - 13

Pub Date: March 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-374-35024-6
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jenkins again provides stunning collage illustrations for a posthumous collection of poems by esteemed poet Worth, following Animal Poems (2007).

This collection features 18 free-verse poems about the animal kingdom, including insects, fish, birds, wild animals and three pets: a dachshund, a prowling cat and the titular pug, shown in an appealing head-on view on the cover. Some of the animal subjects are less than engaging (a dead mouse left on the doorstep, a rat surrounded by garbage), but Worth finds tiny details and meaningful observations in each animal she examines, asking readers to accept any animal as a worthy subject for poetic examination. A few of the poems will be accessible to younger children, but most are more appropriate for children in upper-elementary grades or middle school; some will demand an adult’s help in interpretation. Jenkins provides illustrations in his dazzling paper-collage format with impressive results, from a luminous firefly to a snarling tiger. There is no thematic flow or organization of the poems, so readers hop about the animal world in a slightly jarring manner, though the illustrations are captivating whatever the subject.

Another welcome collection. (Picture book/poetry. 6-13)