Sunday, 25 October 2020

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! - Fiona Walters & Britta Teckentrup: reviewed by Sue Purkiss

The subtitle of this book is 'An animal poem for every day of the year'. It's a simple idea and a brilliant one, and it's resulted in this most sumptuous book - satisfyingly huge and beautifully coloured. 

There's a vast variety of poems. Some are short, simple, and funny; others are much more complex. But I don't think it would matter if the poem for one day might be a bit difficult or a bit simple, because there would be more than enough in the illustrations to evoke discussion, admiration, wonder. It will make a most marvellous present. The cover price is £25, but it's widely available at £16-17.

I don't think I need to say any more: I'll just show you some examples.

You probably can't read the poem: it's The Sparrow Hawk by Russell Hoban:

Wings like pistons flashing at his sides
Masked, above the meadow runway rides,
Galloping, galloping with an easy rein,
Below, the fieldmouse, where the shadow glides,
Holds fast the small purse of his life, and hides.

The hippopotamus has two poems. This is the one for the 13th, by Jack Prelutsky:

The huge hippopotamus hasn't a hair
on the back of his wrinkly hide; 
he carries the bulk of his prominent hulk
rather loosely assembled inside.

The huge hippopotamus lives without care
at a low philosophical pace,
as he wades in the mud with a thump and a thud
and a permanent grin on his face.

Butterfly, by Michael Harrison, is short and very sweet:


The book is an absolute treat.


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