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AMPHIBIAN ACROBATS by Leslie Bulion Kirkus Star


by Leslie Bulion ; illustrated by Robert Meganck

Pub Date: March 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-68263-098-3
Publisher: Peachtree

The amazing antics of amphibian acrobats unfurl.

Bulion and Meganck (Superlative Birds, 2019, etc.) again combine their literary and artistic wits (and scientific knowledge) to create a completely satisfying package for young people who want to learn about frogs (toads are classified with frogs), salamanders, and caecilians. Bulion not only appeals to their interest in poetics, but encourages kids to “Get Your Boots Wet!” It’s impossible not to warm to herpetology after reading aloud poems with lines about star-fingered toads like: “Her skin grows pockets, capped with lids, / to shield her embryonic kids, / whose tails shrink as they sprout four legs, / no tadpoles hatch—they stay in eggs, / ’til star-shaped toe and pointy snout / poke through Mom’s skin…pop, pop they’re out!” Meganck’s wry cartoons amplify the humor. The backmatter, strong as the main text, serves young readers well but will also spur teachers interested in multidisciplinary units on to new heights, serving as a model for many subjects. The poetry notes will provide lots of fodder for adults who want to introduce poetry in a systematic way, discussing both familiar forms and more esoteric poetry types, such as kyrielle and Skeltonic verse. The backmatter also includes a map (unlabeled) and a combined key to endangered status and relative size but no index.

Child readers and educators will find themselves enthralled by short, punchy poems and the science behind them.

(glossary, resources) (Informational picture book/poetry. 8-11)