3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
A to Z of Animal Limericks is a poetry collection written by Kate Condon and illustrated by Mr. 7 (I assume that’s his pen name). It is a 138-page book of limericks that are grouped in alphabetical order by the first letter of the featured animal. Most of the sections feature 5-10 limericks.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with this poetry style, a limerick is a 5-line poem in which lines 1, 2 and 5 rhyme and lines 3 and 4 rhyme. Normally, lines 1, 2, and 5 should each contain 7-10 syllables and lines 3 and 4 should have 5-7 syllables each. This type of poetry is supposed to be funny in a nonsensical sort of way. Usually, a limerick starts with the phrase “There once was a,” but that’s not the case in this book.
I enjoyed this light-hearted collection. Some of the limericks contain clever phrasing and others made me laugh out loud. One of the standouts is about a boy who took a flea to school. After his schoolmates called him a fool, he got the last laugh as they began itching.
There is a wide range of animals included in the book. Although common animals are represented, there are a number of unusual animals, too. I was pleasantly surprised to read about creatures I never even heard of, such as cormorant, lyrebird, and okapi.
The black-and-white sketched illustrations are limited to an animal associated with the letter at the beginning of each grouping; a very small version of the same picture is also shown on each page of the same category. I was disappointed that there were not more pictures throughout the story and that they weren’t in color. The humorous aspect of this type of poetry lends itself well to accompanying artwork. I thick colorful pictures for at least some of the limericks would have greatly enhanced the reading experience.
The humor is apparent, although some parts might be too sophisticated for children. Many of the words are advanced, such as anthropomorphise, flayed, fuselage, and hirsute. Also, since there aren’t any illustrations that relate to specific limericks, it’s confusing when an unfamiliar animal is discussed.
Although the book is geared for all ages, I would think the alphabet format would be appeal to kids more than adults. However, be warned one of the limericks contains language completely unsuitable for children, even though the phrase is shown as an acronym. As a result, it would be better for parents to read this book aloud to children, so that they can skip over that limerick.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The poems are light-hearted and provide a nice escape from more serious reading. If illustrations would have been added for at least some of the limericks, I think it would have made the book more enjoyable. That being said, the sketched illustrations at the beginning of each section are beautifully detailed. I would recommend this book to readers who appreciate silly poetry. However, some of the limericks may be difficult for children to understand due to the sophisticated word choices and phrasing.
A-Z of Animal Limericks
View: on Bookshelves
Like bookowlie's review? Post a comment saying so!