We have just recently launched our new bimonthly theme on Monsters, Beasts, and Chimera: Of Spooks and Spectres. As such we are on the lookout for books, and of course, poetry that touch on this theme. Am I glad to find this gorgeously-illustrated book from our library. Our host this week is the lovely Jen from TeachMentorTexts who also co-hosts one of my favourite weekly meme It’s Monday, what are you Reading.
There are 21 monstrously-scary poems in this collection written by the fabulous Marilyn Singer and the gruesomely-talented Gris Grimly. Rather than have extinct animals and bones and boring jars on display, this museum houses a collection of the sordid and the strange, the horrific and the beastly – all culled from the darkest depths of a child’s vivid imaginings of creatures under the bed or hiding in the closet, or… what’s that thing behind you again?
A group of nine boys and girls, brave souls all of them, have signed up for a tour to this museum. I enjoyed seeing how each of the children seem to have their own distinct set of traits and character. From impeccably-dressed Count Dracula to The Zombie and The Werewolf (oops, I didn’t spy any Edward Cullen here in this collection… interesting), to The Mummy and The Gremlin, to Banshee, Ghost, and Big Foot and King Kong they are all here for the children’s delectation. There is even a poem for two voices with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The illustrations are never too ghastly – in fact, they bring an added dimension to the text with hidden monsters, concealed potions, and the curious kids who have evolved from frightened little tykes to beast-loving children.
My Poetry Offering to you today, dear friends, is one of my favorite monsters in history – the woman who is able to make men literally stay frozen in their tracks if you dare look into her eyes.
As I was reading this poem, I was also reminded of my eleven year old daughter who had her hair braided while we were in Boracay during the summer. This is one of the traditions in this beautiful island and I thought the photographs are a perfect fit for the poem. Enjoy, dear poetry-loving friends!
Poetry by Marilyn Singer, Illustrations by Gris Grimly
You want to be a millionaire?
Have gold and jewels beyond compare?
I’ll give you wealth
(can’t promise health)
if you will dare
to do my hair.
Lately I have such a whim
to get a perm – or just a trim.
An antique Greek
can still look chic.
A bit more prim -
but far less grim.
My ends will never split or break.
My scalp won’t shed a single flake.
There’s just one condition -
to be my beautician,
have you got what it takes
to put curlers on snakes?
Monster Museum by Marilyn Singer and illustrations by Gris Grimly. Published by Hyperion Books, 2001. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Read-a-Latte: 186 (150)