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mammalabilia Paperback – April 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Douglas Florian--creator of Insectlopedia, In the Swim, and other poetic tributes to creatures great and small--turns his unbounded talent for wordplay and shameless punnery to the order of mammals in Mammalabilia. We'll let "The Aardvarks" speak for itself:

Aardvarks aare odd.
Aardvarks aare staark.
Aardvarks look better
By faar in the daark.

Twenty-one short, original poems and splendid paintings celebrate (or jovially mock) animals from giraffes ("Rubber necker/ Double-decker/ Cloud-checker/ Star-trekker") to porcupines. The illustrations--painted in gouache on primed brown paper bags--are as tongue-in-cheek as his words; the coyote howls with visible "o's," the otter bathes in a claw-foot tub reading a book called "H20," and the rhebok is sporting sneakers. A pure pleasure for poetry fans and animal lovers alike, Mammalabilia is a welcome addition to the Florian fold. (All ages) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Like Florian's Insectlopedia, this collection of 21 short light verse brims with whimsy and fun. He plays with the double A in aardvark ("Aardvarks look better/ By faar in the daark") and the growling R in an ode to the tiger. In "The Bactrian Camel" the entire text of the poem forms the shape of a camel's back: "Mr. Bactrian, a question for you--about your back: one lump or two?" Many of the entries are one-liners--"Some people wear fur coats of lynx./ I/ think/ that/ stynx." More developed verse recalls Ogden Nash ("I state more emphatic:/ An otter's aquatic"). Florian's humor is eccentric, but just right for his target audience. The gouache illustrations painted on primed brown paper bags, full of unusual textures and inventive designs, match the creativity of the word play. The otter lounges in a claw-foot bathtub reading a book titled H2O. Florian specializes in the unexpected. For instance, the rhebok stands in its tennis shoes because its "main/ Claim to fame/ Is its name." The artwork taps into childlike qualities without being simplistic; the animal portraits are clever yet appropriate. An irresistible homage to mammal memorabilia. Ages 5-10. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152050248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152050245
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Douglas Florian is the creator of many acclaimed picture books including Dinothesaurus, which received starred reviews in four major publications, Comet, Stars, The Moon and Mars, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and Horn Book Fanfare List selection; Bow Wow Meow Meow, winner of the Gryphon Award and a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year; and Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. His most recent book How to Draw a Dragon was starred in a Booklist review and School Library Journal called it a "brilliantly simple picture book." He lives and works in New York and has read his poetry at Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Poets House, and The White House.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I look forward every year to Douglas Florian's latest poetic subject matter and am never disappointed! Mammalabilia is delightful stuff; brilliant, original, hilarious, and even educational...Keep up the great work!
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Format: Hardcover
While the poems are fun and engaging, there is far less scientific information given than in some of his other works. "The Beaver" is a brilliant four line (four hyphenated words) poem packed with information, while "The Aardvarks" relays nothing except some clever spellings. If you must pick only one Douglas Florian book, "Beast Feast" or "Insectlopedia" would be much better choices.
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By A Customer on April 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mammalabilia is a great dealia. That's how I fealia. It really has zealia
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Format: Paperback
This is a rather unique little book. At first glance (without a thoughtful read), the short poems are rather simple in nature and are indeed quite easy to read, which is good for the young ones. On the other hand, the word play the author uses is actually quite complex. He actually has fun with words and I suspects, hopes his adult readers will also. The art at first glance is simple too. To call it "primitive" might work, I suppose, as long as it is not a put down to the artist. The paintings are actually quite well done (I would dearly love to have some of the originals to frame for the house or office), and if you find that hard to believe, try doing one your self. The book covers several different animals, fox, coyote, bever, zebra, lynx and more. The kids seem to like this one and it is a nice book to read to them and then let them have a try. Don't underestimate this one. It is quite good and an excellent additon to any children's library.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter is only 5 months old, however, the rhythm of the poems in Mammalabilia keeps her attention. We are able to read the whole book before she rolls away. She finds the large pictures to be captivating and "talks" right along with me as I read to her. I believe that this is a book she can grow with. What a wonderful way to introduct poetry to young children!
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