Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Carin Berger is an illustrated poetry collection.  In this imaginative work each page features a different exotic (and bogus) creature that was supposedly discovered by the author during his travels to remote places. The creatures, a blend of real and inanimate objects, are given names such as JollyFish (cheerful jellyfish creatures) and Fountain Lions (large cats with fountains atop their heads) and are accompanied by several verses of Prelutsky’s signature style humorous poems.

Illustrator Carin Berger uses a mixed media collage style to represent the 16 creatures found in the book. The creatures are playfully displayed as if they are part of a crazy museum exhibit, with specimen boxes and figure numbers lending an air of authenticity to the images. These creatures would be right at home in the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Berger cleverly incorporates the creatures' characteristics in each illustration using a mix of vintage engraved images, specimen tags, and 3-dimensional objects like buttons and ribbon. The BrainDeer have oversized craniums and are placed in front of a chalkboard of mathematical equations. The Slobster displays his slovenliness by being surrounded with a mess and clutching dinnerware in his claws (the lobster wearing a lobster bib is a nice touch).

The illustrations are definitely unique and charming in their own weird way, and the Caldecott has been awarded to collage style illustrations in the past (1995’s Smoky Night illustrated by David Diaz). So, there is a very real possibility that the Caldecott committee will be smitten with this title, too!  

For readers in 1st grade and up.  

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