From Publishers Weekly
Beginning with a lethargic anteater and ending with an African zebra, Yolen (Owl Moon) rounds up an "eXtraordinary" assembly of poems. She offsets the inclusion of some predictable old chestnuts-Alfred Tennyson's "The Eagle," William Blake's "The Tiger," Hilaire Belloc's "The Yak"-by varying the tone and pace of the various entries. For each letter of the alphabet she supplies two to four poems; e.g., Jack Prelutsky and Ogden Nash offer light verse tributes to the ostrich and octopus, respectively, while Tennyson's iambic tetrameters describe the owl that "in the belfry sits." Eitzen's (Cherry Tree) illustrations, somewhat crowded on these spreads, combine gouache, watercolor and cut paper; their bright cartoon animals ornament rather than respond to the substance of the poems. Yolen's own inventive poems-about the xyleborus that "bores its way right through a tree" and the iguana who "slither[s]/ Yon and hither"-dot this cheerful anthology. Ages 4-8.-/ Yon and hither"-dot this cheerful anthology. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-6?An exuberant, alphabetically arranged collection of poems about creatures large and small, exotic and common. The poems have been selected from a wide range of sources and time periods, and they are often tinged with humor. The 36 poets represented include Hilaire Belloc, Theodore Roethke, Adam Stemple (Yolen's son), D.H. Lawrence, Mary Ann Hoberman, Beatrix Potter, and Yolen herself. Nowhere else will you find verses about an Irish wolf-hound, a nightjar, a quetzal, a xyleborus, a Xiphias Gladius, a zebu, a zemmi, a bat, a lizard, a mosquito, and a rabbit all in one source. The gouache, watercolor, and cut-paper collage illustrations reflect earth tones and are not as vibrant as the words. Even if you have Dick King-Smith's Alphabeasts (Macmillan, 1992) or Charles Sullivan's Alphabet Animals (Rizzoli, 1991), Alphabestiary makes a totally different, energetic statement.?Barbara Peklo Abrahams, Oneida City Schools, Manlius, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.