Friday, June 21, 2013

Poetry Friday - A review of Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs

I know that there are some people who think that frogs, lizards, snakes and other reptiles and amphibians are  "creepy" and "nasty." I am not one of these people. I was the kind of kid who collected tadpoles and watched them turn into frogs. I loved to watch geckos walk across the ceiling of my room, and even kept a grass snake in a tank for a while. I was therefore delighted to discover today's poetry book because it is full of amphibians and reptiles. What is special about this book is that even people who don't typically like these animals will find these poems enjoyable.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 2001, 978-0-152-05248-5
Even though many of us might be repelled or frightened by reptiles and amphibians, we often cannot help finding these creatures rather interesting. They come in so many shapes and sizes, and live in so many different kinds of habitats. We love to shiver when we read about how long their teeth are, how venomous they are, or how slimy they feel.
   In this delightful collection of poetry, poet and artist, Douglas Florian, introduces us to some of the world’s reptiles and amphibians. We begins with the skink, which slinks along the ground and through the grass and which can drop off its tail if something provokes it. The tortoise is next, and it too has a novel way to protect itself from predators. It wears “a helmet / on my back” which guards the animal “from attack.” Unlike a helmet, the tortoises shell will not fall off if the animal coughs or sneezes.
  Later on we meet a gecko, which can walk up walls with ease, crocodiles and alligators, the iguana, the midwife toad, and many other interesting creatures. With clever rhymes, touches of humor, and interesting facts, Douglas Florian gives his readers a unique poetry experience.
   Throughout the book the poems are accompanied by the poet’s own artwork.

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