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ISBN 0060753684 / 9780060753689 / 0-06-075368-4
Publisher Greenwillow Books
› Find signed collectible books: 'Scranimals'
Poet Jack Prelutsky again pairs up with two-time Caldecott Honor artist Peter Sís to create Scranimal Island, a fantastical, off-the-map place inhabited by unusual animals from Hippopotamushrooms to Potatoads to a pride of Broccolions. A boy and girl on a scooter, equipped with essentials from umbrella to inner tube, fly from habitat to habitat over Sís's dreamy, mountainous landscapes à la Tibet: Through the Red Box. They make their way through the clutch of Spinachickens, past the Camelberta Peaches to the "Sweet Porcupineapple, / Unflappable chap, / You happily amble / All over the map." Prelutsky's biological inventions are as clever as they are silly, and it's wonderful that kids are allowed to figure out the hybrid themselves in Rhinocerose, Cardinalbacore, etc. Prelutsky's glee is contagious, and kids will get a kick out of the wordplay in poems like "Oh Sleek Bananaconda": "You slither on your belly, / And you slither on your chin. / You're only unappealing / As you shed your slinky skin." Pronunciation guides for each creature garnish each page, in case you can't pronounce Toucanemones right off the bat, and an iconic guide to the island's animals adorns the table of contents page. Gorgeous endpapers reveal Sís's map of Scranimal Island and its curious denizens. It's impossible to pick a favorite, between the unbelievably cute Pandaffodil and the detested Radishark. Highly recommended. (Ages 6 to 10) --Karin Snelson [via]