Grim and Ghastly Goings-On

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Another winner from the creators of Tales for the Perfect Child (Lothrop, 1985), these 21 poems are sure to send youngsters squealing with delight over the silly, scaly, and not-too-scary monsters that they describe. The selections range in quality from the somewhat ordinary ``A Friendly Warning'' to the marvelous ``What You Don't Know about Food,'' which guarantees that children will never again look at dinner in quite the same way. Similar to Prelutsky's work, Heide's offerings will appeal both to young listeners, who can calm their nighttime fears with ``The Monster in My Closet'' and ``Grool'', and to independent readers who will thrill to the grisly implications of ``Mr. Glump'' with his ``buckets of bones'' and the wormy rubber bands that ``suck your blood out'' in ``Beware of Rubber Bands.'' Each yellow-bordered page features one poem accompanied by a bright, cartoon watercolor. As she did in The Sheriff of Rottenshot (Greenwillow, 1982), Chess finds the exact balance of whimsy and ghoulishness as accent. A good alternative to standard Halloween books and an ideal motivator for creative writing, the book will serve as a perfect complement to story programs and classroom units on monsters. Although it won't sit there for long, be sure to find a place on the shelf for it. --Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, Wheeler School, Providence, RI
Hazel Rochman
From Mother Goose to the supermarket tabloids, the combination of the lurid and the mundane fascinates: What if . . . ? Heide and Chess once again indulge kids' delicious fear of monsters, especially those lurking in daily life--under the bed, in the closet, on your plate. That slimy, gross spinach might slither and grow and eat you. Rubber bands appear useful, but at night they creep and ooze and suck your blood. The noise on the basement stairs is Mr. Glump bumping with his buckets of bones, bunches of bones. Hungry Jake has such an appetite he eats everything in sight, even himself (can that be his own ear he's putting in his mouth?). Not all the verses and pictures are as astonishing. Most are disarming, taking kids' ordinary fears to ridiculous extremes and containing them in sing-song nonsense rhymes and pale watercolor grotesques, yet they leave that shiver of uncertainty: What if the armchair you're sitting in grabbed you tight?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688083199
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 5 years

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