And Other Poems.
By Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Carin Berger.
31 pp. Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Publishers. $16.99. (Ages 4 to 8)
J. PATRICK LEWIS of the New York Times has this to say:
Like Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, Jack Prelutsky pays his words extra because
he makes them do more work. What Carroll did in marrying verbs like, say,
“chuckle” to “snort” to arrive at “chortle,” Prelutsky does for nouns, in a way
that leaves his fellow poets scratching their heads and wondering, Why didn’t we
think of that?
Last fall, Prelutsky was fittingly named the first
Children’s Poet Laureate, by the Poetry Foundation. On the heels of his
“Scranimals,” another neologistic tour de farce, comes his new book, “Behold the
Bold Umbrellaphant.” What do you get when you cross a toad and a toaster — can
you guess? — a Pop-up Toadster. Or an alarm clock and an armadillo? Well, I
won’t spoil all the surprises. Such nonsense begs to be read aloud, even if
you’ve sneaked away to read the book by yourself with a flashlight in a closet.
The cleverness and comedy in “Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant” are
occasionally trumped by the metronomic march of insistent iambs and ditzy
dactyls. But who’s going to quibble? Certainly not children, who will most
likely follow Prelutsky every step of the way in a book bursting with mischief.
See you in the library!