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The Carnival of the Animals [With CD (Audio)]
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About the Author

Jack Prelutsky, America's first Children's Poet Laureate, is the king of funny verse. Two of his recent books are The Swamps of Sleethe- Poems from Beyond the Solar System and Good Sports- Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More.

Mary GrandPre is best known as the illustrator of the Harry Potter books. She has also illustrated The Blue Shoe by Roderick Townley and the picture book Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat by Jennifer Armstrong.

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Gr 1-7-Prelutsky has created a group of poems that match the animals that Saint-Saens portrayed in his famous classical work, composed in 1886. Read alone or in tandem with the accompanying CD, the sounds of the animals come through in the poetic form with Prelutsky's use of repetition, alliteration, and carefully placed line breaks. Listen to "Roosters and Hens" and the "peck peck peck" and "cluck cluck cluck" bring these skittery creatures to mind. The CD allows readers to listen for the same animal through Saint-Saens's music, which brings the chickens alive in a very different way. In "Birds" children can hear the "flitter" that Prelutsky describes come alive in the tones of the flute. Having children tune in to the sounds, whether poetic or orchestral, creates a sensitivity to music in all its forms. A third dimension is added with GrandPre's vibrant art, which suggests movement through the use of collage and luminous acrylics. This is a carnival, after all, and the rich colors bring to mind the otherworldliness a carnival provides. While music teachers will want this book to complement their introduction of the sounds of the orchestra, it is also a collection children will enjoy on their own. Teachers will enjoy sharing Prelutsky's use of "just the right words" when describing each animal. It is onomatopoeia at its best.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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