Champion Chompers, Super Stinkers and Other Poems by Extraordinary Animals might be one of my favorite books this year.
Linda Ashman and Aparna Varma (illustrators wonderfully done by) crated a book that has facts, little fiction, and a lot of fun. A page of facts follows a poem about different animals and the things they do. Chomp well, stink well, and so much more. I am partial to the stinking ones (okay, I like some of the chompers, too. And then there is the ones from the deepest part of the ocean who are pretty cool. The frequent flyer one is awesome. And then there is …. Well okay I think I like them all).
The pages are busy, without being overwhelming, and details are what is needed. The colors are not muted, but also are not overly bold. They are cozy and fit the non-fiction facts, while adding to the truthful, but told in the voice of the animal, poems. The animals are cute (though I have to say the giraffe is terribly unique) and you can learn about animals you are not familiar with.
The younger readers and listeners can help by saying the “hiss” and the “chomp” and the “splashes” on the page. The older reader could read with some assistance, and the very older reader (around nine or young ten) could solo read. This works well for the child who likes animals, nature, or wants to have an introduction. It also works well in a classroom setting as it is science and poetry.
Due mid June 2023. I read via an online galley and images from there as well.\