Imagine That! Poems Of Never-Was

Overview

There's the Flotz who gobbles dots (watch out if you have freckles), the Phillyloo Bird and the Wendigo, the Hum Bug Machine and the Ogglewop...just try to imagine them! This glorious gathering of 50 poems about imaginary monsters, machines, and other weird things is guaranteed to poke, prod, tease, and tickle a child's own powers of imagination. Here are tales that are a little bit spooky, inspire creative thinking, and are downright funny from such poets as Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, John Ciardi, ...
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Overview

There's the Flotz who gobbles dots (watch out if you have freckles), the Phillyloo Bird and the Wendigo, the Hum Bug Machine and the Ogglewop...just try to imagine them! This glorious gathering of 50 poems about imaginary monsters, machines, and other weird things is guaranteed to poke, prod, tease, and tickle a child's own powers of imagination. Here are tales that are a little bit spooky, inspire creative thinking, and are downright funny from such poets as Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, John Ciardi, Spike Milligan, and of course Jack Prelutsky, along with the lively paintings of Kevin Hawkes. This collection is first rate!

An illustrated collection of poems about imaginary things, by such authors as Jane Yolen, Conrad Aiken, and Karla Kuskin.

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Editorial Reviews

People
Can't picture your grade-schooler immersed in verse?. This zany compilation will change that faster than you can say 'Jabberwocky.'
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Move over, unicorn, dodo and bigfoot--here comes a circusful of imaginary creatures showing off their tricks. Playing ringleader, Prelutsky (A Pizza the Size of the Sun) assembles some 50 poems--giddy, sly, slightly shivery or just plain silly. Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" is the only obvious selection; there are inspired entries from John Ciardi, Dr. Seuss, Conrad Aiken and others of high rank, and equally arresting selections from less exalted names. Florence Parry Heide eavesdrops on monster mothers bragging about their babies (" `Mine is ugly.'/ `Mine is mean.'/ `Mine is turning/ Nice and green' "); Colin West describes an Ogglewop ("And though he looks quite passive,/ He's crammed with boys and girls inside,/ --That's why he is so massive!"). The sheer brio of the language is sure to amuse, and Prelutsky coaxes still more pleasure with his clever pairings and the volume's smooth flow. Equal credit goes to Hawkes (My Little Sister Ate One Hare), whose full-spread gouaches testify to an apparently tireless imagination in visualizing the various chimeras, monsters, etc. His creatures look invitingly madcap, just a tad menacing but mostly full of fun--creatures almost guaranteed to raise readers' spirits to full throttle. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
From Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" to Ogden's Nash's "The Wendigo" to Prelutsky's own "I Have a Secret Dragon" and others, you will find everything strange and unpronounceable in this delicious 44-page volume. It is impossible to choose a winner, between the whimsical pictures and the rollicking verses, so just relax in a place we seldom make time for and swing with the glories of imagination. A personal favorite is "Monster Mothers," which includes the bragging lines: "Mine is ugly. /Mine is mean. /Mine is turning nice and green." What better praise for one's babies, indeed!
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-These outlandish and nonsensical poems bring in a variety of authors, some not often found in anthologies for children, as well as many favorites such as Ogden Nash, Dr. Seuss, and, of course, the compiler himself. In fact, Prelutsky's fans might wonder if this collection didn't start as one for his own private enjoyment...every poem riddles and rhymes its way through the hilarious, the bizarre, and the completely ridiculous in the way that Prelutsky has mastered. Nonsense poetry achieves its illogic by using perfectly logical and patterned language-it plays by the rules in order to break them. Hawkes's richly colored paintings fit the mood: they're funny and exuberant, and exhibit a child's imagination in the renderings of the creatures described; however, a few miss the mark and seem awkward. The creators have squeezed 50 poems into 42 pages; and although Hawkes has done a good job of using the layout to vary, pace, and tie together the selections, the end product feels busy and cramped. Still, this book is a pleasure, and will be a hit.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
People
Can't picture your grade-schooler immersed in verse?. This zany compilation will change that faster than you can say 'Jabberwocky.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679982067
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/18/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 45
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Prelutsky
For 30 years, Jack Prelutsky’s inventive poems have inspired legions of children to fall in love with poetry. His outrageously silly poems have tickled even the most stubborn funny bones, while his darker verses have spooked countless late-night readers. His award-winning books include Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast, The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, and The Beauty of the Beast.

While attending a Bronx, New York, grade school, Prelutsky took piano and voice lessons and was a regular in school shows. Surprisingly, Prelutsky developed a healthy dislike for poetry due to a teacher who “left me with the impression that poetry was the literary equivalent of liver. I was told it was good for me, but I wasn’t convinced.”

In his early twenties, Prelutsky spent six months drawing imaginary animals in ink and watercolor. One evening, he wrote two dozen short poetry verses to accompany each drawing. A friend encouraged him to show them to an editor, who loved his poems (although not his artwork!) and urged him to keep writing. Prelutsky listened and he is still busy writing.

Jack Prelutsky lives on Mercer Island in Washington with his wife, Carolynn.

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