Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Monsterologist, written by Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Adam McCauley. Sterling, $23.50 ages 8 and up
"Ping-Pong with King Kong
When King Kong plays Ping-Pong,
he squashes the ball.
He whacks it so hard
you can't hit it at all.
But if by some chance
you just happen to score,
he tears down the net
and won't play anymore!"
I have had this wonderful book in my TBR Poetry pile for ages, and kept thinking I would hold on to it until Halloween when monsterologists are likely to be roaming our streets in search of even more monsters than they have already discovered. I can't do it! It's been too long now and it's too good to keep it from you for another four months.
There are many ologists in this world and we have access to books about them, no matter our interest. The monsterologist is exceedingly smart and travels the world getting to know monsters of any and every kind. In this amusing and impeccably well-designed book, we meet some of them through a series of letters, conversations, and notebooks. All have been collected by our guide and there is much to discover here.
Here comes a sample:
"Nowadays we don't hear much
of ghastly trolls with beards and such.
Yet we're still stopped and we pay tolls
but just to ordinary souls.
Or are they "ordinary souls"?
Could it be that some are...trolls?"
There is a letter from Dracula, personal ads, a recipe, a yeti capture; the fun never stops! Bobbi Katz has created a very entertaining and enlightening book that will bring gasps of horror and bursts of joy to anyone interested in a career in 'monsterology'. The formats are forever changing, the fun is endless and the artwork inspired. I love Adam McCauley's description:
"The illustrations for this book were created using: lots of paper, spaghetti, twigs, tape, Adam's great grandmother's stamp collection, paint, file folders, rubber stamps, a scanner, old sketchbooks, new sketchbooks, a printer, a ballpoint pen, a Xerox machine, scraperbard, computer programs, clip art, things found on the street, and some string. Oh yeah, and a few brains and hands."
And Bobbi Katz adds her vision:
"From the very beginning, I saw this as a memoir: a scrapbook of memorabilia. I thought it would be interesting to reflect the work of an academic scientist. I wanted the poems to take various forms from note cards, queries, and descriptions to letters."
Do NOT miss the fun!
Here's your invitation from the Count:
"My Dear Friend,
I'm the Count whom you can count on for hospitality.
When you come to Transylvania, be sure to stay with me.
My ancient castle's gloomy, but you'll have a lovely room,
Conveniently located…close to the family tomb.
Just buy a one-way ticket. There's no need to splurge.
I'd really love to see you. It's an overwhelming urge.
You'll find that I'm a genial host,
but at times I think I'll burst,
unless I drink a bit of blood to satisfy my thirst.
A friendly nip, a little sip is harmless you'll agree.
It's natural and organic, and my castle is smoke free.
Please hurry, hurry, hurry! No need to R.S.V.P.
I can hardly wait to see you. Please come and visit me.
Yours, truly, most cordially,