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  • List Price: $14.95
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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear. Pages are clean.
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The Sweet and Sour Animal Book (The Iona and Peter Opie Library of Children's Literature) Paperback – November 20, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What could possibly add to the excitement of publishing a long-lost manuscript by one of the century's most important African American writers? The folks at Oxford offer an inspired answer: a classroom full of young creative talent. In this fresh, imaginative alphabet book, 26 newly discovered poems by Hughes are teamed with 3-D works by first-, second- and third-graders at the Harlem School of the Arts. The result is a marvelous union of graphics and text, alight with color and whimsy. Hughes's poems are models of brevity and wit ("There was a camel/ Who had two humps./ He thought in his youth/ They were wisdom bumps./ Then he learned/ They were nothing but humps-/ And ever since he's/ Been in the dumps"). Called forth from these words, the students' menagerie-created from clay, paper, paint and cardboard, and unfettered by artistic preconceptions-are laugh-out-loud wonderful, from the solemn, pop-eyed flock of owls to the bright explosion of fish that graces the front cover. A foreword by Ben Vereen (a friend of Hughes) and afterword by George Cunningham give the book additional heft. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 5?Twenty-seven previously unpublished, alphabetically arranged verses about animals, written in 1936. Though humorous and ostensibly non-political, this imaginative romp has a bittersweet undercurrent: "A lion in a zoo,/Shut up in a cage,/Lives a life/Of smothered rage./A lion in the plain,/Roaming free,/Is happy as ever/A lion can be." Children from The Harlem School of the Arts have created brightly painted, three-dimensional clay or paper creatures to accompany the poems; full-color photographs of these sculptures are placed next to the selections. A lowercase letter in script appears on each spread; some letters are superimposed on the text. Ben Vareen's introduction and George P. Cunningham's afterword should help adults appreciate the work; children, however, will need no help in responding to the book's creative spirit. An inspired artistic collaboration.?Judy Greenfield, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Copyright 1995 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: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: The Iona and Peter Opie Library of Children's Literature
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (November 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195120302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195120301
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book helps children make the transition in reading poetry from the beloved Dr. Suess to reading more sophisticated writing. My children loved the rhymes, and related to the stories. Like Robert Louis Stevenson in A Child's Garden of Verses, Langston Hughes captures childhood in his verses. Many current writers of children's poetry appeal to children using gross stories of bodily functions and gum in the hair. Langston Hughes gives kids more credit than that, but still appeals to children. What kid hasn't wanted to look down on "those stuck up clowns" in real life? This book was entertaining, and made my children want to hear more from this author.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful tribute to one of America's finest poets. The book appeals to both children and adults. The poems are whimsical and fun. In my own classroom, the children list these poems as some of their favorites. The art work inspires my students to achieve as much as they can in their own art work. The introduction and afterward provide the reader with a history of the Harlem art's movement and Langston Hughes' contribution to this movement. The information provided could be shared with children, however it is written for advanced readers. Overall, this book is one of the most well thought out books that I have seen.
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By A Customer on March 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although I enjoyed this book as a Langston Hughes fan, I was not sure that the children's artwork and Hughes' poetry would be appreciated by children. However, my 5-yr-old clearly responds to the rhyming text and enjoys the art. I've overheard him reciting lines from this book by memory. The rhythym is soothing and the children's art is charming. This is not Hughes at his most profound- (couldn't he have chosen "walrus" to star on the "w" page instead of a white mouse?) and does not teach kids much about the alphabet ("m" is for monkey, but we never hear that word in the poem, instead the monkey's name- "jocko"), but it will appeal to their sense of rhyme and whimsy. I'm leaving it 5 stars because of the beautiful art and catchy poems.
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