Through rhythm and rhyme, author Charles Ghigna pens a delightful collection of captivating verse for younger children. Animal Trunk leads the reader through adventurous and inventive word play meant to tickle both the mouth and ear. A wonderful introduction to his work and this book is splashed across the back of the book jacket, an open door for what's to come inside: "Inside the animal trunk/There's a bear and a snake - But no skunk." Yes, very fun to read out loud!
Ghigna's audience is the preschool set, ages 3-5. Animal Trunk is a romp of creative language, using imaginative, fresh rhymes for young minds. The moral of the story is as plain as the trunk on an elephant's face: Language is fun and enjoyable.
Gabriel's illustrations complement Ghinga's verses masterfully. The bold swashes of color and thick line drawings are enchanting echoes to the bouncing, light stanzas illuminating each page.
When asked about his inspiration for his latest work, Ghigna told BookPage: "Like all my books for children, Animal Trunk was truly a labor of love. I have always enjoyed writing about animals who like to show off the lighter sides of their personalities in my poems. I usually start with a simple, common part of each animal's appearance or behavior, then try to let the poem take me where it will until I hit upon a new, ironic twist or insight into the animal's personality. I also love using my imagination and making stuff up! Animal Trunk allowed me to do both of those lovable things.
This book was especially fun because it involved so many students
and teachers who graciously let me try out many of the poems on them during my school visits. Like a diving judge's score card, their joyous laughter and enthusiasm over my animal poems helped me pick which ones were making the mark. This book was written for them, and for the little boy or girl inside each of us."
Kevin Zepper is a poet and works in advertising in Minnesota.