What’s so great about Douglas Florian is that he excels at both writing and illustrations, and that he makes poetry so much fun. Here he takes a topic bound to appeal to many kids, which concerns those living things that go slithering, hopping, and moseying along in the grass or the sand, and that so fascinate people, especially little ones.
His poetry is quite entertaining. Here is what he says about the cobra, for example:
“It’s wise to stay clear
Of the dangerous cobra.
All months of the year,
As someone who used to follow Gila Monsters around whenever I was lucky enough to see one in Tucson, I appreciated this poem about them because it’s so true:
“They call me monster just because
I have short legs and clumsy claws,
And poison in my jaws,
Like someone’s composition book.”
Kids will even learn some things about amphibians and reptiles painlessly and fun:
We shake in lakes,
To turn ourselves
Into a frog.”
The illustrations, whimsical and clever, are done in watercolor on primed brown paper bags with collage. My favorite is the one of the box turtle.
Evaluation: I don’t think anyone can go wrong by choosing a poetry book written and illustrated by Douglas Florian.
Published by Harcourt, Inc., 2001