Review By CAROLYN M. MULLIN
It never ceases to amaze me how poets are able to condense abstract and even concrete ideas into the simplest of phrases or pen a poem that can alter your mood 180 degrees. A few authors in the poetic anthology All the Wild Wonders are superstars when it comes to trimming down their word count, including William Blake and his two-liner: “A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage.” Most are a bit lengthier and come out of the historic and present day literary woodwork to thematically convey earthy subjects: a celebration and exploration of flora and fauna, warnings of a planet in peril, and other general observations of life in the world from a global perspective, from Guyana to Greenland. Several poems also cover animal rights issues, including circuses and zoos!
I’ll be the first one to admit, however, that poetry is not my forte, and for the average kid, it’s probably not theirs either. But this compilation is a wonderful tool to introduce youngsters to the literary format, spark their interest in the genre and have them put on their critical thinking caps.
Piet Grobler’s fanciful folk-art-inspired, pencil-and-watercolor illustrations not only entrance readers, but help tie the poetry together. For example, a two-page spread with the cutest whale you’ll ever see presents three poems: Tony Bradman’s “Leave the Whales Alone, Please” (USA), a portion of John Milton’s Paradise Lost (England), and an anonymous piece that declares,
You will never never meet another whale.
Ages 9-12, but adults can enjoy this one too!