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Beastly Verse

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Poetry and children belong together, and for a long time, the music and playfulness of verse wove itself through children's days and lives. Beastly Verse aims to help return the wonder of poetry to children's lives through sixteen exquisitely illustrated poems, four of which have the surprise and pleasure of being foldouts. Consisting of playful as well as powerfully memor ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Enchanted Lion Books
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  286 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poetry. What’s the point? I say this as a woman who simultaneously gets poetry and doesn’t get it. I get that it’s important, of course. I only need to watch my three-year-old daughter come up with an ever increasing and creative series of bouncy rhymes to understand their use. But what I don’t get is Poetry with a capital “P”. I have come to accept this as a failing on my own part. And to be fair, there are works of poetry that I like. They just all seem to be for the milk teeth set. With that ...more
As an illustrator and printmaker, Yoon work is always a delight. This time, she has painstakingly chosen a small range of poems on the theme of animals to illustrate. From owls to yaks and from de la Mare to Rossetti, Yoon reimagines moments from each poem, her print humorously glows with her bright and engaging illustrations and some sections invite the reader to pull open pages in order to reveal the animal in all its majesty.
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Colorfully illustrated poems about beasts and animals. The best two are Eletelephony and The Snail.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great collection of children's poetry and rhymes about animals. The illustrations are vibrant and colorful...actually maybe a little bit too colorful. Like maybe your eyes will bleed if you look at it for too long.


But otherwise I think it would make for a fun read aloud to kids and an excellent introduction to poetry.

Nathalie S
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a book of children's poetry by various authors such as Christina Rossetti and Ogden Nash. It is a new book but illustrated to appear old style. I didn't like it as much as I thought I did. Here is my favorite:


I don't mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

by Ogden Nash

I happen to have eaten eels as a child and never wanted to repeat the experience as an adult. Tastes very fishy with flesh more like a chicken and it does look like a snake...

My husband liked the following:

Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Compilation of famous animal poems written by many different authors. I was pleased to find two of my all time fave poems included, Eletelephony and The Spangled Pandemonium

(not a page from the book)

I liked how there was only one poem on each page. Poetry is always more enjoyable to read when it's not squished onto pages. The poems chosen were delightful but I wasn't a huge fan of the artwork.
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sixteen previously published poems about animals, including "The Crocodile" by Lewis Carroll, "The Tiger" by William Blake, and my personal favorite for sharing--the hilarious and fun to read--"Eletelephony" by Laura Richards make this book delightful. Not only are the verses fun to revisit or visit for the first time, but the illustrations are literally drenched with color. Young readers and their parents will also enjoy the four gatefolds that expand the book's images.
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bright, primitive-style illustrations perfectly complement short animal poems by the likes of Lewis Carroll and Walter de la Mare. An intriguing collection that may serve to spark an interest in poetry in young people and their grown ups.
Edward Sullivan
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthologies, poetry
A rich, gleefully illustrated and beautifully designed collection (including some great gatefolds) of playful verse about critters by such poets as William Blake, Lewis Carroll, D.H. Lawrence, and Christina Rossetti.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth, poetry, 2015
Loved the bright, distinctive, fanciful graphic illustrations that accompany these animal poems by a variety of writers. My favorite poem might be "The Pelican" by Robert Desnos--new to me. Impressed with every single page of graphics.

Would kids like it?

4.5 stars
Emily Scheinman
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! A collection of fanciful poems matched with bold color art work. Releasing in April; perfect for poetry celebrations and a must have for your home library
Mary Lee
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun gatefolds!
YingYu  Chen
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
For winter and spring, my kids and I try to approach different poetry books. This pictured verse collection compiles almost poems that illustrate different kinds of animals. Not sure how the artist made the compilation, but the overall quality, along with the quality and texture of the book, made an astounding piece for family reading or individual collection.

As an always admirer of William Blake, "The Tygre" is the most known. I am happily introducing William Blake and the imagery of his poem w
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I mostly liked the illustrations- vibrant, psychedelic-colored prints of animals. But I didn't realize the poems were a collection of what I would largely call "oldies." Nothing wrong with a little 'Tiger tiger burning bright' but I was hoping for something fun and modern to accompany the illustrations. Just not for me.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of various authors about many different animals. The poems are mostly good although the writing in a couple is very stilted and certainly difficult to read aloud. We did enjoy the majority. The illustrations are very vibrant, the internal photos match the cover pretty well.
The poems are lovely. The art is nightmare fuel.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Masterfully illustrated. A feast for the eyes. I will keep this book close by so I can stuff myself often.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful book! I highly recommend if you are introducing your child to art and poetry.
The Sleepy Creator
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations for odd verses to be devoured on a lazy sunday.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Classic poems paired with amazing illustrations that really remind me of old school collage illustrations from the 60s and 70s. Worth it just for the art.
Miss Sarah
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Different animals of all kinds are spotlighted in poetry. Fold out pages and brightly colored layered pictures are featured. preschool and up
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I want to buy this book. I absolutely loved it. I can see kids wanting to hear it over and over, and then going back to it when they’re adults and getting so much more out of it. It’s a great learning tool with great illustrations.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: el-ed-340
+ illustrations are so cool and unique, some of the poems are awesome and kids would love, fold out pages, collection of poems by different authors
- some of the poems are way too advanced for elementary school kids (there were many that I couldn't even understand), at least half of this book I would not use in my classroom
Anne, Unfinished Woman
Some very familiar, some newly read poems that are brilliantly and fiercely illustrated. This is riotous art that completely fills the pages and on some opens up or continues on further pages to cause wonder and awe. A treat for young and old.
Dana Vanderpool
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This non-fiction book Each of the poems within the book focus on a different animal with different rhymes. The poems within have free verses, a limerick and rhyming stanzas. You could have a poem about a hummingbird, owls, tigers and elephants. What's cool about this book is that it's filled with poems from different poets so you are seeing rhymes consistently but you are also getting the rhymes with different contexts according to the animal. This is great for an English class because it does h ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Children are introduced to a collection of poetry from well-known poets as well as anonymous and lesser known ones in this picture book. Each poem focuses on an animal and the collection includes William Blake's The Tiger among others. The animals are varied and make for page turning that is exciting and interesting, since you never know if the next animal will be a pig or a hummingbird. The poems are cleverly selected for child appeal and yet many of them aren't specifically children's poetry, ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An illustrated picture book of famous poetry about animals from the quaint to the silly to the serious. There are free verse, rhyming stanzas and even one limerick. Poets include those hailed for children such as Christina Rossetti, those famed for the humorous such as Ogden Nash and the masters such as Blake. I always say I'm not a poetry person, and I'm not really. But! This is the way I like my poetry: presented in an illustrated children's collection. Several of these have prominent places o ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh, a good collection of poetry is a delight--and even if you stodgy grown-ups disagree, most children I know will heartily concur.

This collection is a riotous exploration of poems about animals--most titles starting with "The..." and many titles of which are familiar. The poets are even more familiar than some of the titles and are mostly European/American in background (Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, etc.). That being said, the artwork in this book keeps the collection from feeling like a relic.
Joohee Yoon's hallucinogenic art is what makes Beastly Verse an outstanding collection of poetry for readers of all ages. All of the poems are about animals, and the beasts Yoon portrays are those of folklore and imagination. They wear clothes and cheshire-cat-smiles with nightmarish teeth. There are no black lines. Instead, borders overlap in a style that mimics traditional block printing, using transparent cyan, yellow and magenta inks.

Walter de la Mare, Christina Rosetti, William Blake, Ogden
I expected to like this collection of animal poetry so much more than I actually did. First, there's the idea of a collection of animal poetry... that sounds like just the ticket for me. But it turns out I didn't much care for most of the poems that JooHee Yoon selected for this volume, and I didn't think they would really resonate with children either. Then there's the illustrations... Once again, the colors seem like something I would like, but they just don't work with the subject matter for ...more
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