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ELYMPICS by X. J. Kennedy


by X. J. Kennedy

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23249-4
Publisher: Philomel

Kennedy’s deceptively facile verse amuses as it places under scrutiny a herd of elephants engaged in summer and winter Olympic sports. Runner Trinket wins sprinting by a nose, and gymnast Trixie, her ankle carefully bound up, handles backflips on the beam. Elfantina’s figure skating and Elmo’s ski-jumping capture the eye and the heart. The remarkable watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations communicate the particular geometric form of every sport—the crescent-moon curve of Elijah’s dive; the T-shape of Elfantina on ice; the whoosh of Tram in slalom—without sacrificing the elephantine personalities. The poetry cheerfully renders some specifics on sports, too: Eliza and Lenore are the volley “ball-wackers!” while Tram defines slalom as “all I did was go downhill/Not hitting anything.” The observations are immediate and funny. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)