The Sweet and Sour Animal Book by Langston Hughes
(Opie Library)

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Newt, newt
What can you be?

A salamander, child.
That's me!

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. Hughes also knows what makes children giggle:
What use
Is a goose
Except to quackle?

If a goose
Can't quackle
She's out of whackle.

The publication of a new manuscript by Langston Hughes is an important event in American literature. But when you add the fanciful three-dimensional animals built especially for this book by first and second graders from the Harlem School of the Arts, an introduction for children by entertainer and humanitarian Ben Vereen, and an afterword for older children and adults that delves into the work Hughes did for and with children, you have an instant classic. Oxford is proud to bring this new Hughes manuscript to life, and to share with children and adults alike the exhuberant, wise, and funny world of animals as seen by an American literary genius.

About Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was one of the most versatile writers of the artistic movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Though known primarily as a poet, he also wrote plays essays, novels, short stories, and books and poems for children. Ben Vereen has left his mark on the Broadway stage, concert circuit, and in film and television. He has also been widely honored for his humanitarian activities and work with young people. George P. Cunningham is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Brooklyn College. The Harlem School of the Arts provides instruction in music, dance, drama, and visual arts to more than 1,500 students every year. Many of the first, second, and third grade students who participated in this project are part ofOpportunities for Learning in the Arts, a program that offers arts instruction for public school students during the school day.
Published December 15, 1994 by Oxford University Press. 48 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Some of the poems are educational, some are just fun: ``What use/Is a goose/Except to quackle?/If a goose/Can't quackle/She's out of whackle.'' Many of them offer moral lessons: ``A lion in a zoo,/Shut up in a cage,/Lives a life/Of smothered rage.'' Hughes (190267) really speaks to today's childr...

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Publishers Weekly

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What could possibly add to the excitement of publishing a long-lost manuscript by one of the century's most important African American writers? The folks at Oxford offer an inspired answer: a classroo

Nov 28 1994 | Read Full Review of The Sweet and Sour Animal Boo...

Publishers Weekly

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In this fresh, imaginative alphabet book, 26 newly discovered poems by Hughes are teamed with 3-D works by first-, second- and third-graders at the Harlem School of the Arts.

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