God Bless the Gargoyles

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Overview

A remarkable book that dispels myths about gargoyles and offers a message of hope for all lonely and neglected souls. 10 X 11. Full-color illustrations

Relates a rhyming tale about misunderstood gargoyles and the angels who bring solace to them and to all creatures who are rejected and unloved.

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Overview

A remarkable book that dispels myths about gargoyles and offers a message of hope for all lonely and neglected souls. 10 X 11. Full-color illustrations

Relates a rhyming tale about misunderstood gargoyles and the angels who bring solace to them and to all creatures who are rejected and unloved.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Angels befriend the grotesque church guardians in this comforting story. "Pilkey imbues these dreamy vistas with electricity, the skin-prickling feeling of witnessing a special event," said PW. All ages. Aug. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
A lively rhymed text tells us about how some cathedral gargoyles, who have become feared and reviled, are comforted by angels. The angels take them on flights over the city, showing them how to heal and encourage all the creatures of the earth, especially misfits and outcasts. Impressionistic paintings in watercolor, acrylics and ink depict dark, brooding night scenes along with with bright, glowing stained-glass windows, showing the difference between dark fears and enlightened hope.
Kirkus Reviews
Pilkey (The Paperboy, p. 141, etc.) joins the medieval fray with a bucolic approach to the journey of gargoyles from the cathedrals of the Middle Ages to modern cityscapes.

The half-comic, half-grotesque, goblin-like animals and monsters from medieval religious art, once representing evil and temptation from a dragon-infested underworld, here become contemporary symbols of the misunderstood, in contrast to the spooky black-and-white gargoyles in Eve Bunting and David Wiesner's Night of the Gargoyles (1994). In rhyming pairs of couplets, Pilkey tells of the lonely, the lost, the left behind, all in lowercase type: "god bless the ones who sing everything wrong/god bless the ones who do not belong." Blue angels rescue shadowy gargoyles and wing their way amidst cathedrals and stained glass windows, above skyscrapers, across a deep blue-and-purple night. Pilkey infuses his skies with much of the same fantasy inventiveness as Chagall; however, the solitary spread that pinpoints a specific setting creates for readers a visual pun of sorts—gargoyles hover as witnesses to angels who land in the well-known Edward Hopper painting of a diner, Night Hawks. Perhaps the quintessential American image of loneliness and isolation, the scene proves "that the souls of the lost weren't really alone." The constrained cadences are more statement than story, weighing down the lilting paintings with their hopeful but heavy message. Still, readers will find solace in this modern-day answer to existentialism.

From the Publisher

“A book for all seasons.”—Family Life
“In its combination of fantasy and soul, this fable offers a prime instance of how to teach morality.”—The New Yorker
“Exuberant artwork...inspirational.”—Publishers Weekly
“Readers will find solace in this modern-day answer to existentialism.”—Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152021047
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.03 (w) x 10.99 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Dav Pilkey

DAV PILKEY is the creator of many acclaimed children's books, including Dogzilla, Kat Kong, god bless the gargoyles, and the bestselling Captain Underpants series. His picture book The Paperboy received a Caldecott Honor. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. www.pilkey.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A book I love to read over and over again

    While I'm sure children would enjoy the rhyme scheme and the gargoyles, this picture book is ideally suited for adults. The illustrations are rich and dark, reminiscent of stained glass in their jewel-toned color and geometric angles. And the story---of gargoyles once cherished and now feared and reviled being soothed by angels---possesses a poignant beauty in its singsong words that children might not yet have the maturity to appreciate. Those who know Pilkey for his Dumb Bunnies or Captain Underpants books are sure to be a little surprised at this more solemn work, but god bless the gargoyles is well worth adding to any library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2004

    Beautiful book...

    I first bought this book as a teacher in a Catholic school who decorated her room with lots of gargoyles I'd picked up over the years. Now the mom of a 15 month old, this is definitely our favorite book. We have a copy in the car, our house and at grammy's house. When it was lost at grammy's my then 10 month old found it himself, seeing the vivid stained glass windows tucked behind some things on a shelf. This is truly a beautiful and artistic book to be enjoyed by people of any age. Wish it came in a board book, and we'd have that, too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2001

    finally the truth about gargoyles--and more!

    As an art instructor, and fan of Dav Pilkey's work since he was Dave Pilkey, I found God Bless the Gargoyles to be beyond even my expectations. This book carries warmth, joy, and poignancy as we rediscover the guardian purpose of these grotesque sculptural figures from Gothic cathedrals. But there is so much more than that. As angels comfort the gargoyles and take them on nightly flights to comfort the needly and lost humans of our world, there is a message of acceptance that cannot be missed. It is not only the acceptance of need in the world but also of the ability of those different from us (the gargoyles appearance) to be of value in helping those in need. As a bonus, Pilkey gives us allusions to famous artwork in his illustrations, such as Van Gogh's Starry Night and Hopper's Nighthawks. This is a book to be enjoyed on many levels, not just as a children's book. I recommend it for anyone, but especially for those whose children may be frightened by images of the night.

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