Random Book Sighting

I’ll be honest…I’ve seen this book before on our New Books shelf, and the cover intrigued me. And I might have idly flipped through it a few times, never really paying attention to what the book was about. But now that I’ve actually read through this book of monster poems, I knew it had to be my next Random Book Sighting entry!

the monsterologist

The Monsterologist: A Memoir In Rhyme
Ghostwritten by Bobbi Katz
Illustrated by Adam McCauley
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Personally, I love poetry and I think kids secretly do too, even if they won’t admit it out right. This book of hysterical monster poems is great for the monster-lover, the poetry-lover, or the kid simply looking for a book of funny rhymes. I love how the rhymes are funny without being too scary (a spaghetti-eating yeti isn’t very frightening!), and several of these made me laugh out loud. The book is set up to look like a scrapbook of letters and memories from the distinguished “Monsterologist” who has spent his or her lifetime studying monsters all over the world. You’ll find rhymes about zombies, trolls, werewolves, golems, and even a few about famous (deceased) musicians. The poem about Elvis’ ghost really cracked me up!

The look of this book is great, too. Illustrator Adam McCauley did an excellent job of making this book look just like an eccentric collection of letters, emails, bits of paper, maps, graphs, and even a personal ad. Every page has a different feel to it, but there’s no doubt that McCauley put a lot of thought into the illustrations. My favorite poem in this book, “The Suds-Surfing Sock Eater: A Conjecture” has a very funny illustration of a suds monster consuming a sock. At least now I know I’m not the only one with a missing sock problem!

Best of all, it’s a book of poetry! Poetry is wonderful for children of all ages (even those of us who might be adults age-wise but fully admit to being young at heart!) Poetry innately appeals to children because of its natural rhythm. I’ve found that even kids who swore up and down they didn’t like poetry at the beginning of one of my poetry programs wound up smiling and nodding their heads to the beat of the words. Like music, poetry flows and creates big images in the minds of kids using only a few words. And this book does just that, while using some great vocabulary as well. It’s okay if kids don’t know the words right off the bat…I’ve read many articles and heard teachers talk about the way poets like Jack Prelutsky help students learn new words. Bobbi Katz’s “ghostwritten” poems do the same thing in The Monsterologist: introduce kids to new words to help them build a bigger, stronger vocabulary.

So if this book sparks your fancy as a parent, or your child’s fancy, be sure to check out the amazing selection of poetry we have here at the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library in the Children’s Department! Any of us would be more than happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, or audio books.

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