Averse to Beasts:Twenty-Three Reasonless Rhymes
This book comes together with a tape, which presents the twenty-three poems well in a live performance (at "The Trough" no less!) with introductory comments and sound effects. Bantock is well known for the "Griffin & Sabine" series, and this book is worthy of him. There are perhaps four fables here. In "Bad Manners," a turkey vulture schooled to culture still eats the waiter along with the meal! "Harvest Mouse" is something of an answer to Beatrix Potter, but it only reinforces the old fable wisdom that a mouse out in a field will be eaten by a hawk. "The Warrior's Way" is a satire on contemporary yuppie samurai. This one uses a sword to defeat a warrior-fly but cuts off his own nose in the process! "Old School Ties" has fun with "allege" and "alligator" but in the process shows--as I understand it--that judges might follow old school loyalties rather than process or evidence. One item ("The Wolf at the Door") parodies WL in applying it to urban human wolves. The other pieces have fun with words (e.g., "Hitch" and "Aero Dynamics"), with shapes (e.g., "Appendages"), and with fantasies (e.g., "Rabbit's Revenge"). Each poem is done on a left-page with an illustration facing on the right-page. Among the best illustrations are "Bad Manners," "Thick Soup," "Carnivorous," "Appendages," "Preparing My Giraffe for a Formal Occasion," and especially "Harvest Mouse."