Review: Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon

Beastly Verse by Joohee Yoon

Beastly Verse by JooHee Yoon (InfoSoup)

Children are introduced to a collection of poetry from well-known poets as well as anonymous and lesser known ones in this picture book. Each poem focuses on an animal and the collection includes William Blake’s The Tiger among others. The animals are varied and make for page turning that is exciting and interesting, since you never know if the next animal will be a pig or a hummingbird. The poems are cleverly selected for child appeal and yet many of them aren’t specifically children’s poetry, allowing children to stretch a bit and learn more about poetry and their own reactions to it.

Yoon has selected primarily European and western poets in this book. I do long for more diverse poets and poetry to be included and yet one can’t fault the high quality of the selections here and the astute awareness of children and what they are interested in and drawn to. The result is a clever book that children will enjoy and learn from.

The illustrations here are the star and what will have children and adults alike picking up the volume. The colors are beyond bright, zinging on the page and creating worlds. There are jungle scenes that drip with deep greens and echo with lushness. There are domestic scenes that have a zany energy to them that is echoed in the poetry too. Yoon is skillful and playful in her art, creating a unique look and feel in this poetry book that is sure to appeal.

A dynamic look will get readers opening the book where they will discover plenty of poetry to love. Appropriate for ages 7-10.

Reviewed from copy received from Enchanted Lion Books.