Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Absolutely Wild

Absolutely Wild

Dennis Webster
Illustrator:  Kim Webster Cunningham 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
David R Godine, 2009   ISBN: 978-1567923759

People of all ages all over the world like to learn about animals. They read books about animals and watch films about animals. They go on safaris in Africa and cross mountains, lakes, river, and oceans to catch a glimpse of some rare and exotic creature. In this collection of poems, Dennis Webster takes readers on a delightful poetical journey around the world. Readers don’t even have to leave the comfort of their favorite seat to visit some of the world’s most interesting animals.

There is the yak who has a “hairy top and hairy bottom.” It is true this shaggy animal is not exactly beautiful, but if you were in Tibet you would “dress as he does.” The ptarmigan on the other hand is a very handsome bird. In the summer months she is dressed in feathers of brown, while in the winter those same features are a soft white.

The puffin is a little sea-bird who has “quite mild” manners and who tries to “live a modest life / Like any normal fellow.” Unfortunately, this is very hard to do because the bird is blessed with an over-sized beak that is bright “red, blue and yellow.”

If you not interested in the exotic, you can spend some time with an ant who “goes to lots of picnics / But never has much fun” because she is working so hard. Or there is the snail who “slips and slides along the ground” so very slowly. This singular lack of speed is not surprising really when on considers that the poor snail has to carry his house with him wherever he goes.

This collection of poems will tickle the funny bone and charm readers who enjoy poetry. For every poem, Kim Webster Cunningham has created a beautiful full color print that is expressive and a joy to look at.