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Flutter and Hum / Aleteo y Zumbido: Animal Poems

by Julie Paschkis

Publishers Weekly In 12 tantalizing poems, written in English and Spanish, Paschkis shows herself to be a sensitive observer of the animal kingdom, as well as of language itself, finding humor, eccentricities, and unexpected connections in both. The two versions of each poem aren't exact mirrors (in English, a grazing cow enjoys a "Slow munch./ All day lunch," while in Spanish it's "Una comida/ sin fin"), and finding the intersections and divergences in the verse is a thrill. A sense of linguistic interconnectivity is also evident in Paschkis's warm gouache paintings, which (like her work in Pablo Neruda) features words painted on leaves, grasses, and swirling waters, reading like exercises in rhyme, alliteration, and word association (in a rainy scene, crows are painted with word pairs like crass/brash and bruju/brusco). Paschkis's imagery can be haunting, contemplative, or playful (a "dancing whale" becomes a "ballena bailarina"), and the results are uniformly excellent. Ages 4-8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal K-Gr 4-An excellent Spanish-English collection of poetry on animals. In an author's note, Paschkis explains that although she is neither a poet nor a native Spanish speaker, she was inspired by the work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and that she began writing these poems in Spanish and then translated them into English. The Spanish and English poems are on opposite facing pages, with the artwork seamlessly sewing both versions together. Rendered in gouache, the folk-art inspired illustrations are at times dazzling with their use of color and subdued at others, as in the light, sage greens and grays of "Heron." Though Paschkis employs beautiful use of language in the English versions, such as her poem about a turtle who keeps jewels in her box ("When she walks/she listens to the rattle of the gemstones") and another about a dog whose wagging tail "fans wild happiness" into the world, the Spanish translations are marred by some awkward phrasing. VERDICT A book that takes wing and flies, flutters, and sometimes falters.-Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.