by Langston Hughes, Students of the Harlem School for the Ar (Illustrator), George P. Cunningham (Afterword)
In 26 never-before-published short and wonderfully clever poems, Langston Hughes takes children through both the alphabet and the animal world. From Ape to Zebra—with bees, camels, fish, and even a unicorn in between—he paints a picture of each animal with just a few simple, but telling, words.
Twenty-six short poems introduce animals for each letter of the alphabet, from Ape to Zebra.
This book of simple, yet clever, poems by Langston Hughes works on many levels. Parents and teachers will enjoy reciting the short, catchy poems to toddlers while young readers will be caught up in the humor, and relish reading the poems for themselves. This is an animal book, an alphabet book, and a book of poetry by one of the leading literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Although many of the passages are playful, several of them carry a deeper meaning which may be immediately apparent only to the older readers. The introduction by entertainer Ben Vereen delves into the importance of the arts in the life and development of children and also gives background, as does the afterword by Professor George P. Cunningham. The approach of Langston Hughes to his art is discussed, as is the difficulty of attaining financial, as well as critical, success as a writer. In fact, although the book was completed more than 50 years ago and subsequently revised, it was rejected by publishers many times. The illustrations provided by students (mostly first, second, and third graders) are vivid and imaginative. 1997 (orig.
Paperback: 48 pages