Friday, January 8, 2010

Poetry Friday: The Hidden Bestiary of...

Jacket description:
"Explorer Basil Bernard Barnswhitten (B.B.B.) has a list of creatures he needs to verify for an important report so he visits the Finchhaven Museum of Extraordinary Curiosities, Oddities & Improbabilities. But, he finds that one of the glass exhibit cases is damaged--something appears to be missing.

To complete his report, B.B.B. travels around the world to track down each creature on his list, all the while asking three important questions: Is it alive? Is it extinct? Did it ever exist?

By deciphering the clues in his journal, young explorers can accompany B.B.B. as he tries to locate each mysterious creature. But finding them won't be easy. Lush, detailed scenes serve not only as camouflage, but also as habitats to other strange and fascinating marvels. Can you see what's right before your eyes?"

Written by Judy Young, B.B.B.'s journal of poetic clues is great for kids to not only practice reading poetry, but also to make it into a fun activity. The reader is able to read the clue, do sort of a "search-and-find" activity, and locate just what the explorer is looking for. Each poem is just about 8 lines long and rhyming, which makes them nice for reading aloud to younger kids.
Illustrator Laura Francesca Filippucci has produced all sorts of fun animals and mystical creatures and camouflaged  within the pages, making it even more fun to point out what you see as you're looking for a specific creature.

I loved the "Field Guide of Basil B. Barnswhitten," in the back, which is really an animal guide to all the strange animals the explorer was looking for throughout the book. We're given a picture of each creature, including the jackalope, the basilisk, the dodo, etc. and give "facts" on their habitat, behavior, diet, and extinction status, along with a physical description.

Lots of fun for kiddos loving fantasy and a great way to blend in some poetry as well. They'll never even notice it's there!

Rating: 4 out of 5
Enjoyable, fantastical, and the poems all rhyme very well, not to mention the search-and-find activity is a nice interactive way to use the book. A great way to enhance the ability to have fun with poetry.

The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious, and (maybe even) Magical Creatures
Judy Young
32 pages
Picture Book
Sleeping Bear Press
September 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a tiny commission from your purchase. Thanks!


Jenn said...

I love the title of this book! I think your right about them not even noticing they are reading "poetry" and the interactive component means you probably won't get as bored reading it over and over and over to the kids. Great review!

mnoeth said...

This book looks wonderful! I hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for posting this. :)


BookMoot said...

I just cataloged 5 copies of this book at the library where I was working last week. I loved the look of it.

Laura said...

Ciao Amanda and everyone! This is from the Hidden Bestiary illustrator and explorer Laura Francesca Filippucci. I'm very proud to see that you liked the book! It was great fun to make, a fantastic trip around the real, and imaginary, world.Curiously, the illustrations were produced first, then Judy Young added her great poetry afterwards.I hope Basil B.B., who is currently touring schools in the US along with Judy, will soon leave for a new exploration!