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The Gargoyle on the Roof
ISBN 0688096433 / 9780688096434 / 0-688-09643-3
Publisher Greenwillow Books
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The creators of the critically acclaimed The Dragons Are Singing Tonight and Monday's Troll are back with more breathtaking artwork, rib-tickling poetry, and a ghastly, gruesome cast of characters. Griffins, gargoyles, and goblins dance out of children's poet Jack Prelutsky's merry pen and two-time Caldecott Honor artist Peter Sis infuses life and elegance into this creepy crew with his soft-hued, finely crosshatched oil and gouache illustrations.
While the monsters are malodorous and the vampires vile, Prelutsky captures a full range of (superhuman) emotions in his poetry: the troll is lonely, the mother gargoyle is tender, and the werewolf laments his lost youth. As always, the poet's meter is perfect--never a stumbling or forced line--and children will revel in the playful rhythms of poems like "Gremlins":
When your pillow turns to pickles,
And there's honey on your head,
When you note an orange elephant
Reclining on your bed,
When you reach into your pocket
And withdraw a purple mouse,
These are early indications
There are gremlins in your house.
Very young children may be scared by the monsters and their unveiled threats to chase, devour, and pounce on their victims. But kids old enough to know a fake monster from a real one will adore this funny, gorgeous collection by two masterful artists. (Click to see a sample spread. Text copyright 1999 by Jack Prelutsky. Illustrations copyright 1999 by Peter Sis. Permission of Greenwillow Books.) (Ages 6 to 10) --Karin Snelson [via]