Monday, April 08, 2013

Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant

Prelutsky, J. (2006). Behold the bold umbrellaphant. China: Greenwillow Books.

     Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant is a collection of poems in a children's picture book written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Carin Berger.  Inside this appealing title and front cover illustrations, there are seventeen poems with creative illustrations that fill each page.  The author Jack Prelutsky was chosen as the first children's poet laureate in the United States in 2006 when Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant was first released. 
     In these poems, the author puts together animal names with object names to create new kinds of creatures that you wouldn't likely see in any zoo!  For example, "the umbrellaphant".  This animals' trunk ends with an umbrella on top.  The author also makes up creatures such as:  The Clocktopus, Shoehornets, The Pop-up Toadsters and The Bizarre Alarmadillos!  His wordplay in these poems are very creative; however, the illustrations are JUST as creative!  Carin, the illustrator, uses newspapers and book pages to create collages as her illustrations.  The author and illustrator work together to come up with these silly animals, so that all readers are engaged throughout the book. 
     This picture book/poetry book I selected has been my absolute favorite book so far.  The author uses catchy rhymes throughout each poem; however, he uses a variety of rhyme schemes.  Each poem is very short, in between 2-4 stanzas long.  This poetry book would be great for all of elementary grades (K-5).  I use a poem a week to work on fluency in my Reading class and I have found these poems would be a great resource to use for our weekly poetry reading. tlg

Thanks to Taylor Gates for bringing this book to my attention with a well-written reflection!

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