Apes to Zebras


Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy- Dawson and Roger Stevens have created a truly memorable poetry book in ‘Apes to Zebras‘. Laboratory like, perfect words have been selected to sculpt each animal into its image. Every subject is realised and almost eulogised through its own beautiful poem.

R’-Rooks for example, is presented as a series of L- wing shaped, adjectives and observations  spread across a portrait A4 page, black to a heather- grey background.

G’- Giraffe, is a stretched rhyming poem:- ‘Giraffe is made of speckled light/ his head’s a long way from his knees/ and if you doubt he looks quite right/ it’s so his tongue can reach the trees….

The variety, interest, quality of poetry and presentation are superb.

Bookwagon recommends Apes to Zebras highly, for bedtime reading, reading alone, for classrooms, and forever.

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Apes to Zebras

An A-Z of Shape Poems

Poems by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens


 Apes to Zebras is an exceptional poetry creation. Specific words and careful shapes describe an alphabetic selection of animals.  What shapes will we find? It seems we’ve a perfect P for penguin, undulating and pulsating. However, the selection includes insects alongside creatures that are extinct or even imaginary!  What’s more, we’re shown how the shapes can vary, be individual, are up to the creator! There is play to be enjoyed in poetry.
Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens demonstrate such imagination and flair in their works. We love the creativity. For example, the rules are broken so that more than one animal might be chosen for a letter. Then again, there are backgrounds… Therefore, if an animal is hanging, we need a tree, don’t we? Thereafter, we’re reminded, anew, of the poets’ inspiration and skill in other titles, including Be the Change.  Apes to Zebras is a beautiful book. We love the quality of its presentation, from the colours and composition, to the form. Therefore, Bookwagon recommends this title for home and school. We suggest it will inspire every poet to feel ‘A’ for awed, or ‘Z’ for zinging.


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