Books by Jack Prelutsky

THE SILVER MOON by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"While a goodnight book needn't—shouldn't—be stimulating or exciting, the market is so saturated with such reading material that new titles need to add something special to rise above the rest: This doesn't. (Picture book. 0-3)"
A collection of rhymes for the very young falls smack in the middle of twee territory. Read full book review >
STARDINES SWIM HIGH ACROSS THE SKY by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2013

"Whimsy takes flight in this humorous collection. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)"
Prelutsky and Berger are back with 16 new specimens of poem and collage, meticulously rendered to excite and amuse.

After traveling the globe for creatures of animal and inanimate origin, the master of verse returns to share his discoveries. Procrastinating pandas, self-adhering geese and cacophonous magpies are a few of the carefully selected creatures on display for readers' enjoyment. Budding naturalists will relish the details both author and illustrator offer. From the dour to the delightful, Prelutsky describes each creature in detail, packing each line with punchy playfulness: "JOLLYFISH are radiant, / Ebullient blobs of mirth, / With merry dispositions / From the moment of their birth. / ... / Their humor is infectious, / And as aimlessly they drift, / Their buoyant effervescence / Gives the neighborhood a lift." Berger's cleverly designed assemblages—created from ephemera and digitally manipulated vintage etchings—offer the wonder and fascination of a curio shop. Her dioramas in particular, with their steampunk aesthetic, lend an aura of authenticity to these eclectic creatures. Read full book review >
I'VE LOST MY HIPPOPOTAMUS by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2012

"Welcome, heart-gladdening poems that never come amiss. (index) (Poetry. 5-10)"
Prelutsky is back to make your day better, even if it's already a good one. Read full book review >
THE CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 24, 2010

A distinguished trio combine for a fresh, accessible and wonderfully appealing reimagining of a classic 19th-century "program music" favorite ("program music" being music specifically created to describe or depict a visual image): Camille Saint-Saëns's evocative 1886 favorite. Long a standby of the "light" classical-music repertoire, Carnival continues to be many a child's first introduction to live orchestral performance. Prelutsky, the 2006 American Children's Poet Laureate, has created a suite of lively, appealing poems that combine perfectly with inventive musical impressions of such animals as a lion, elephants, a tortoise and a swan. GrandPré employs a vibrant hibiscus flower-toned palette in her whimsical interpretations of the animals featured. The CD prepared especially to accompany the book is a knockout. Both music and poetry come alive in the poet's telling and a world-class performance by the prestigious Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. Their interpretation is fresh, engaging and exciting. A helpful note on the composer and his piece rounds out a fine package— it's an irresistible poetic and musical experience for youngsters. (Picture book/poetry. 6-12)Read full book review >
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE SCHOOL by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2010

A collection of 18 poems seeks to encapsulate the school experience. With dry humor, David L. Harrison's "Show-and-Tell" describes what happens when Billy brings his snake to school; Kenn Nesbitt's soggy child sees wicked opportunity in a malfunctioning "Drinking Fountain"; Carol Diggory Shields captures, in clipped, breathless verse, the excitement of a "B-Ball" game. Other topics run the gamut from test anxiety to gross lunch food to recess to the challenge of cursive writing. Manning's spiky, slyly subversive watercolors give this collection a welcome edge, for, despite the overall solid quality of the selections, this is hardly a new concept—look at any back-to-school display to see its predecessors. Moreover, the final poem—a plaint about homework—which may excite sympathy, ends this volume on an oddly negative note. One to miss. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 10, 2009

The planets circling distant suns should definitely be avoided, according to these cautionary verses and eerie illustrations. Young space travelers who don't leave their bones behind in the "foul and festering broth" of the titular swamps will freeze and shatter on Drifig Prime, be devoured happily by "The Demon Birds of Lonithor" ("And when they've disemboweled you, / they'll pick apart your face… / Don't ever visit Lonithor / When you're in outer space") or find themselves exploding, dissolving away or transformed into trees or metal robots elsewhere. Pickering's full-bleed pictures depict few of these bad ends explicitly, but do offer dimly lit scenes of distressed-looking young humans amid exotic flora and fauna. For would-be explorers who might be entertaining thoughts of staying at home, though, the collection closes with a portrait of our own planet as such a scene of "carnage, chaos, callousness, / Brutality and greed" that a set of visiting aliens themselves zoom off in haste. Taken individually the poems are pleasantly ghoulish—but all in all, this is Prelutsky in an uncharacteristically dark vein. (Picture book/poetry. 8-11)Read full book review >
MY DOG MAY BE A GENIUS by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

Two grand masters team up to produce a decidedly goofy illustrated poetry anthology. Prelutsky, who must surely dream in iambs, so plentifully do they fall from his pen, offers some 100 plus poems on subjects varying from pets to imaginary beasties. He's totally cued in to childish solipsism: Just about half of the poems begin with "I" or "my." Stevenson's quick pen-and-ink vignettes appear equally effortless, lumpy elephants and hapless children staring benignly from the page. Some of the poems, in form or in wordplay, are unquestionably inspired. "The Call of the Longwinded Clumsy Owl" consists of one word—"WHOOPS"—rendered with enough intervening Os to occupy the whole page; "When the Butcher Was Delivered" asks readers to consider the punny possibilities in otherwise unrelated words. Still, one must wonder if the book would pack more of a punch if it were about half as long. Too many of the poems consist of rhyming couplets in lockstep rhythms that dwell on mild sillinesses, resulting in an uneven collection in which the only-pretty-good overwhelms the truly-great. (Poetry. 5-10)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

For readers fond of Prelutsky's style, this volume offers both pointers on how to write similarly silly verse and just what inspired him to do so in the first place. Though some children may find his reminiscences mysterious—after all, his childhood was quite a while back and kids today might not understand just how playing catch with a meatball could ever seem like fun—the connections between his memories and poems are clearly drawn. Prelutsky begins each section with a brief story, then presents a poem or two inspired by the memory or experience; a writing tip that relates to the poem(s) follows. The tips are fairly unremarkable (for example, write about your own experiences or always carry a notebook) and occasionally repetitious. Small black-and-white illustrations and borders decorate some of the pages. While Prelutsky's poetry is generally playful and appealing, the decision to deconstruct it reveals a certain sameness to the works included here that may make emulating his style easier but may also detract from the reader's appreciation of same. (Nonfiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
IT'S THANKSGIVING! by Jack Prelutsky
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Like Prelutsky's It's Halloween and It's Christmas, this consists of jog-trotting rhymes concerning standard holiday topics - including the modern one of the after-dinner football game on TV. The least expected but still mild ending comes in "I Went Hungry on Thanksgiving." The reason - "my new braces hurt so much." There's a rhyme about the parade seen (the last line reveals) on TV; a straight one about "The First Thanksgiving"; another set at school ("Our teacher gives us projects/that we work on every day,/we make Indians and Pilgrims/out of paper, paste, and clay. . . ."); still others set at the dinner table; and a final one about too many turkey leftovers. Hafner picks up the spirit of familiar fun, and though there are no delights here, the sheer predictability of form and content (suitable perhaps to this most predictable of holidays) might be an advantage to beginning readers. Read full book review >
THE WIZARD by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2007

Lit with a greenish glow, elaborately detailed digital paintings give a properly eerie setting to this shortened version of a poem originally published in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976). In a book-strewn workroom atop a stone tower that looms crookedly over an otherwise ordinary modern suburban neighborhood, a Saruman-ish wizard with long black nails idly transforms a passing bullfrog into a flea, a pair of mice, a cockatoo and other shapes. Then he leans out of his window to select his next victim (maybe you) from among the ant-like figures on the street below. Closing with a ground-level view of a surprised-looking chameleon clinging to a skateboard and the suggestion that "Should you encounter a toad or lizard, look closely . . . / it may be the work of a wizard," Dorman's debut makes an atmospheric opener for any magic-themed storytime. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
ME I AM! by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2007

Prelutsky's poem, which originally appeared in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983), propels French artist Davenier's cheerful watercolors. The poem's quartet of four-line stanzas riffs on the theme of personal uniqueness: "There is no other ME I AM / who thinks the thoughts I do; / the world contains one ME I AM, / there is no room for two." The poem repeats three times, with Davenier successively supplying three active children whose rooms brim with the trappings of their intense interests. A girl who loves raucous pretend play—abetted by a cape, pirate wear and a goldfish sidekick—leads off. A boy who loves nature and tending its creatures is next, followed by a brown-skinned girly girl who dances before a row of stuffed toys. The artist uses appealing spot illustrations to reveal each child's disparate imagination at work. On the last few spreads, the trio converges, joining a phalanx of milling children celebrating both the concept, and the giant, yellow-lettered word: "ME!" Slight, but not without its charms. (Picture book/poetry. 3-6)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 13, 2007

True to the subtitle, this collection offers a variety of untitled poems that capture kids' sports thrills of victory and agonies of defeat. A wry understanding of the nature of children's athletics informs the whole, from the kid who strikes out swinging and the one who observes, "Baseball is fun / But it gives me the blues / To score ninety-four / And still manage to lose," to the agile inline skater and the pals just tossing a Frisbee for fun, "Though we aren't good at all." Both types of activities and successes (or lack thereof) are thrown together in a happy, well-rounded jumble, so the nothin'-but-net free throw is bookended by a gymnast aspiring to make the team, and an avid swimmer. Raschka's loose watercolors are characteristically full of movement, swift, broad brushstrokes limning kids, balls and even the air in motion. The players swing, leap, balance and throw with happy abandon, in a visually harmonious complement to the poems. Collections of sports poetry are legion in children's literature, but there's room on the shelves for this little gem. (Picture book/poetry. 8-12)Read full book review >
MY PARENTS THINK I’M SLEEPING by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2007

First published as a Greenwillow stand-alone in 1985, this welcome I Can Read entry features Abolafia's updated, full-color illustrations for Prelutsky's 14 poetic explorations of the not-too-scary night. Prelutsky engages the reader conspiratorially by leading with the title poem, for which the artist supplies the resourceful brown-haired narrator with flash-lit books and model rocket parts, substituting an electronic game gadget for the earlier transistor radio. The pictures provide some amusing extensions. The lad dreamily plans his nighttime snack attack in "Chocolate Cake:" "I will slip into the kitchen/ without any noise or light, / and if I'm really careful, / I will have that cake tonight." In the facing picture, he catches his like-minded dad with cake in hand, cheeks bulging. The poems focus on gentle, philosophical musings about day, night, sun and sky, and the boy's mastery of his own nighttime fears is a developmentally appropriate touch. A nicely repackaged addition to a genre much needed within the easy-reader realm: poetry. (Easy reader. 5-8)Read full book review >
BEHOLD THE BOLD UMBRELLAPHANT by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

The reigning king of iambic "pun"tameter returns with 17 new poems. By compressing words with shared syllables, Prelutsky hybridizes common objects and animals. Kids will delight in meeting "The Eggbeaturkey," "Shoehornets" and "The Ballpoint Penguins." The poems, most executed in iambic tetrameter, turn on trademark absurdity: "The TRUMPETOOS and TUBAOONS / Are blaring out discordant tunes. / They play them loud, they play them long, / But most of all, they play them wrong." Tautly controlling meter and rhyme, Prelutsky brings the roiling fun to a simmer with wry conclusions. ("They march about in close array. / We wish they'd simply march away, / Or stop and take a silent snooze— / Those TUBABOONS and TRUMPETOOS." Berger's whimsical collages craftily handle exotica like "The Solitary Spatuloon" and "The Ocelock." A few poems present challenges. "The Limber Bulboa's" pun is a stretch for younger gigglers, though redeemed with this surefire couplet: "It has no idea what it's likely to find / As it lights up its way with its brilliant behind." Pretty brilliant, indeed. (Poetry. 5-9)Read full book review >
WHAT A DAY IT WAS AT SCHOOL! by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2006

One would expect that Prelutsky's poems about school would be rambunctious, warm, silly and laugh-out-loud funny, and this new collection does not disappoint. Brimming with gleeful humor, the poems hit on topics that will be familiar to all students, from the heft of heavy backpacks, the ups and downs of being a teacher's pet and the excitement of field trips, to the frustration of homework, the perils of not studying and the joy of accomplishment and success. Descriptions of various subjects—math, science, spelling, writing, history, art, music, library and gym—are all here too, full of wit, observation and hilarious commentary. Cushman's lively watercolor depictions of various felines, rodents and other small mammals, all with appropriately droll, pensive and jovial expressions, perfectly complement the text and add to the fun. Reluctant readers and poetry lovers alike will find plenty to laugh at and identify with here, and there is never an awkward line or a sour note—although in one poem, there is a rather unfortunate smell. (Picture book. 6-10)Read full book review >
IT’S SNOWING! IT’S SNOWING! by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2006

The magical excitement of winter is the focus of this entry in the I Can Read series from prolific poet Prelutsky, who offers 16 rhyming poems for children who are reading fluently on their own. The poems are set with a longer line length, and in large type with lots of white space between lines, giving the effect of an illustrated story rather than a poetry collection, and making this collection easier to read than most poetry for new readers. Most of the poems are humorous or just plain silly fun in Prelutsky's familiar fashion, but a few are more introspective, adding a touch of melancholy to the more exuberant offerings. The appealing illustrations by Abolafia follow one dark-haired little boy and his dog as they explore their wintry world: skating, throwing snowballs and creating a jolly snowman friend who is poignantly reduced to just a black hat, a carrot and lumps of coal on the final page. (Poetry. 5-9)Read full book review >
READ A RHYME, WRITE A RHYME by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 11, 2005

Prelutsky has invented a method he calls "poemstarts" to help children get started in writing poetry. He provides several introductory lines of a simple poem and then offers some open-ended suggestions for its completion. In this thematically organized collection, Prelutsky offers ten poemstarts on different popular themes, complemented by three short poems on the same subject by different authors. The poemstart and related text is set off on a gold background on the upper right of each spread, with the three short related poems incorporated within a thematic illustration in So's delightfully loose watercolors. Some of the subjects covered are dogs, bugs, snow and best friends. Prelutsky's short suggestions for young writers include possible rhyming words, point of view and incorporating personal experiences and feelings into poetry, all offered in a light-handed manner. Though the volume's intent is as a springboard to writing poetry, the thoughtful selections and So's winning watercolors make this a successful poetry collection even without the writing prompts. (author's note, indexes of titles and authors) (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
IF NOT FOR THE CAT by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

Prelutsky changes pace and adopts a philosophical tone in a set of animal riddles framed as first-person haiku: "Gaudily feathered, / With nothing at all to say, / I can't stop talking." Answers are provided at the end, but they're superfluous, as Rand fills each spread with gorgeous inked-and-brushed figures; the parrot's plumage is more iridescent than "gaudy," a skunk's white stripes and tail explode like fireworks against a solidly black background, a mouse peers anxiously through its dimly lit hole, inches away from a feline nose. "If not for the cat, / And the scarcity of cheese, / I could be content." As the solutions are there on the page, this works best if children don't see the picture until they've heard the riddle, and had a chance to guess who's posing it. But even in this uncharacteristic form, Prelutsky's poetry is as engaging as ever, Rand has outdone himself, and the collaboration is likely to become as much of a storytime favorite as Beatrice Schenk De Regniers's classic It Does Not Say Meow (1972). (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)Read full book review >
WILD WITCHES’ BALL by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

Asbury illustrates a vintage bit of early Prelutsky, first published in Witch Poems (1976), with sketchy party scenes featuring plenty of pointy hats, black shadows, green skin, and flashes of jack-o'-lantern orange. "Late last night," it begins, "at Wild Witch Hall / We witches held our / Wild Witch Ball"—an event involving "Ten tall crones / with moans and groans," "Nine queer dears / with pointed ears," " Witches eight / with mangy tresses," and so on down, until a collective scene invites readers, if so inclined, to tote up all the revelers. The counting practice adds a pedagogical veneer, but it's the lively art, plus Prelutsky's rare way with language and rhyme that will bring children back to the party. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
SCRANIMALS by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Sís's hallucinogenic art takes Prelutsky's ever-clever comic verses in new directions in this topflight returning superstar collaboration (The Gargoyle on the Roof, 1999, etc.). A pair of young tourists accepts the poet's invitation to visit Scranimal Island, uncharted home to such hybrid curiosities as leafy Spinachickens, blobby Hippopotamushrooms, a pride of Broccolions, and the sedentary Potatoad: "It does not move, it does not think, / It does not eat, it does not drink, / It does not hear or taste or touch . . . / The POTATOAD does not do much / . . . To pose immobile by a road / Suffices for the POTATOAD." Using pale tones overall, but adding flashes of brighter color, Sís depicts the 19 vegemals (anitables? flauna?) and their surroundings in typically obsessive detail; he also creates an aerial view of the entire island that rewards careful examination, and tiny bits of background business for sharp-eyed viewers to spot. Prolific they may be, but poet and illustrator have never done better work than this hilarious, inventive cousin to Edward Lear's nonsense botany and zoology. (Poetry. 7-12)Read full book review >
THE FROGS WORE RED SUSPENDERS by Jack Prelutsky
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2002

The title sets the stage for this delightful pairing of Prelutsky's (Awful Ogre's Awful Day, 2001, etc.) amusing rhymes with Mathers's (Dodo Gets Married, 2001, etc.) charming watercolor illustrations. Ranging from sweetly poignant to goofy nonsense, each of the 28 short poems about people and animals is devoted to a double-paged spread, providing ample space for the subtly whimsical pictures to add details to the rhymes and to enliven the meter with perfect piquancy and lilt. "Ten Brown Bears," who gobble plates of pies and then march home, are shown with one bear green in the face. "There Was a Tiny Baker" is illustrated with minute pictures of a teeny man and his equally teeny dog, nearly lost in the great expanse of page. Many of the poems are attached to specific cities or locales from Texas to Winnemucca, e.g., "Peanut Peg and Peanut Pete" in Atlanta. The cleverness in both language and art is demonstrated in "Seven snails and seven snakes / swam around the five Great Lakes. / They took seven years to go / from Thunder Bay to Buffalo." And the rhyme is illustrated as a swimming and diving meet. A brilliant match of talent that's guaranteed to make a hit. (Poetry. 5-10)Read full book review >
AWFUL OGRE’S AWFUL DAY by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

In 18 poems, grisly enough to delight the taste for the macabre in any child, Prelutsky takes the Awful Ogre through his predictably awful day. From early rising to evening rest, everything that is grotesque is Ogre's idea of grand . . . breakfast of "ghoul on toast," a beloved ogress with greasy green tresses, a garden of well-sharpened thorns and poisonous plants, a precious collection of bones. The rhymes are wickedly rich in vocabulary (his weeds are scrofulous) and wordplay (at TV time, Ogre adores "The Chopping Channel"), and the scansion rarely goes wrong. As depicted gleefully by Prelutsky and Zelinsky, this ogre is a huge, lovable innocent who is unaware of any offense he might give. He seems not to notice that his left nostril houses a skunk. Happily, the illustrations are as blissfully unfettered by the demands of good taste as the poems. They command repeated and close scrutiny, containing ironic humor never mentioned in the text (the limbs on the fire have feet and most of Ogre's household appointments are satisfyingly monstrous). Far different from the painterly style we associate with the Caldecott-winning Zelinsky, his looser style reveals a surprisingly fiendish sense of humor with only the formal borders to remind you of his other renowned works. Of course, even the borders are filled with various forms of unpleasantness. Programmers, let yourselves go, this is a dramatic reader's delight and you'll find your listeners in your lap, not trembling with fear but with laughter, and clamoring to get a closer look at the illustrations. A bad day has never been a better romp. (Poetry. 6-10)Read full book review >
THE GARGOYLE ON THE ROOF by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

PLB 0-688-16553-2 With customary vim and darkly musical verse, Prelutsky introduces gremlins, griffins, goblins, basilisks, and their kinfolk, playing readers like stringed instruments, keeping them rapt with quick changes in tempo and by varying the architecture of his poems. Some start out silky and charming—"The moon and stars have vanished,/The long dark night is through,/Another day is dawning,/The sky is clear and blue"—before the daymares and terrors of the gargoyle's lullaby begin. Others inject dread into the bones from the opening gate: "I am running through a tunnel/Where there isn't any sun./There's an ogre right behind me,/Running faster than I run." S°s's artwork is a perfect companion to the verse, gratifyingly sinister with its Transylvanian landscapes and crabbed, clawed surfaces. Both poet and illustrator know, however, how to bevel the effects to make the chills a pleasure: S°s makes his troll roly-poly, and Prelutsky defangs a werewolf: "I, a werewolf of distinction,/Used to fill the night with fear,/But I'm entering the twilight/Of my infamous career." (Picture book/poetry. 6-10) Read full book review >
HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY! by Dr. Seuss
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1998

When Theodor Geisel died in 1991, he had left behind a half-sketched idea for a book, an ode to joy and eccentricity in education. Enter the nimble Prelutsky and dexterous Smith to finish the project, about a school run by a gaggle of latitudinarians—"Miss Bobble teaches listening,/Miss Wobble teaches smelling,/Miss Fribble teaches laughing,/And Miss Quibble teaches yelling." Their charges take to the curriculum likes bees to honey, until the dour principal Mr. Lowe ("We think he wears false eyebrows. In fact, we're sure it's so. We've heard he takes them off at night . . . I guess we'll never know") informs them that they must pass a standardized test, or the school will be closed and the students shuffled off to dreary Flobbertown. They pass muster, wholesale, and send choruses of the "Diffendoofer Song" to the heavens. The magic here is in the marriage of Seuss, Prelutsky, and Lane: The Prelutsky voice is delightfully obvious, but he has blended whole slices of Seussian verse into his lines, while Smith has laced the crazy, deliciously colored artwork with cameos of characters and books that any of Dr. Seuss's fans will recognize. A lengthy afterword (containing reproductions of Geisel's early drafts) by his editor, Janet Schulman, explains how the book evolved. It's a model collaboration, because the spirits involved—including Schulman's—are so obviously kindred. (Picture book. 4-10) Read full book review >
A PIZZA THE SIZE OF THE SUN by Jack Prelutsky
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

A collection of well over 100 poems that pop and sparkle like firecrackers, well up to the standard set by this team's Something BIG Has Been Here (1990) and The New Kid on the Block (1984). The poems vary—some are little packets of energy (``Sardines'': ``Their daily lives are bland,/and if they land- -/they're canned'') while others allow readers to take a stroll through their treasure-filled lines. Prelutsky puts his obvious delight in words to work, employing backwards writing and mirror writing, different typefaces and font sizes, unconventional typesetting, and unfamiliar words—children will scramble to find out what a manticore is and why its eyeballs might be nutritious. The poems' subjects range from spaghetti seeds, to a flock of defiant pigeons, to more philosophical musings: ``I'm drifting through negative space,/a frown on my lack of a face,/attempting to hear/with a tenuous ear/what nobody says in this place.'' Prelutsky loosens his agile imagination in words, while around the pages cavort Stevenson's interpretive line drawings, shimmy-shimmying to the beat. Terrific. (Poetry. 5+) (First printing of 115,000; author tour) Read full book review >
MONDAY'S TROLL by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1996

In a companion volume to The Dragons Are Singing Tonight (1993), a talented duo introduces a variety of trolls, ogres, witches, a bigfoot, and a yeti. Prelutsky's verse is as rhythmic as ever and full of child- pleasing grotty humor, with crotchety witches and grubby goblins fully present. The first poem, ``I Told the Wizard to His Face,'' sets the tone as a bratty boy regales a wizard with variations of the word fraud: ``Since then I've been but two feet tall/and have a hamster's head.'' S°s captures the spirit of the book perfectly in his spreads framed with fabulous borders. The settings range from modern urban to mythical or medieval. Favorite pieces will be ``Mother Ogre's Lullaby'' and the title poem, but every poem will be relished, come Halloween or any time of the year. (Picture book/poetry. 4-12) Read full book review >
THE DRAGONS ARE SINGING TONIGHT by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Eighteen deftly fashioned verses in the trademark Prelutsky style, with catchy rhythms, clever rhymes, and witty wordplay and conceits (``If you don't believe in dragons,/It is curiously true/That the dragons you disparage/Choose to not believe in you''). For each, Sis provides a large, gloriously imaginative spread featuring innovative variations on traditional dragons, in wonderfully fantastical or entertainingly ordinary settings (``I have a secret dragon/Who is living in the tub...''). A must for dragon fanciers and for all those who enjoy light verse. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-10) Read full book review >
A. NONNY MOUSE WRITES AGAIN! by Jack Prelutsky
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

The much overlooked Ms. Mouse, whose Poems of A. Nonny Mouse (1989) was an ALA Notable, reappears with another collection of comic verse often attributed to ``Anonymous'' (plus four entries claimed to be the work of her compiler). Informally grouped by subject, with several entries sharing each spread (various fantastical events occur in the sea around Noah's Ark, including Prelutsky's ``Tiny surfer,/Bold and brave,/Surfed upon/A microwave''), the verses include much that's long familiar as well as some of more recent vintage (``Methuselah ate what he found on his plate''—and never counted calories). Priceman's illustrations, singing with color and lively with activity, have a lot of panache; they don't have the marvelous wit and elegance of Drescher's surreal art for the first book, but they may appeal to a wider audience. Not quite as ebullient as Ms. Mouse's earlier effort, but still wonderfully welcome. (Poetry/Picture book. 4-10 Read full book review >
FOR LAUGHING OUT LOUD by Jack Prelutsky
POETRY
Released: April 10, 1991

Well over 100 funny poems collected by one of our funniest poets, who, fortunately, slips in a few of his own along with a fine selection of the old and new, familiar and unfamiliar. Priceman (Rachel Fister's Blister, 1990) adds to the mirth with madcap watercolor visualizationstucked in corners or looping merrily across the pages. There's no formal organization here, but one idea frequently leads to another, or to more of the same: ``The Optimist'' shares a page with ``Somebody Said that It Couldn't Be Done,'' followed by a couple of lugubrious accounts of weeping. An excellent addition to any home, classroom, or library. Index. (Poetry. 5+) Read full book review >
SOMETHING BIG HAS BEEN HERE by Jack Prelutsky
Released: Sept. 8, 1990

A wealth of funny new verse from a favorite poet. Prelutsky's comic muse is at its best here - whether describing a homemade robot gone berserk ("…it ate the dust pan/and attacked us with the broom, /it pulled apart our pillows, /it disheveled both our beds…") or a whimsical trip to yesterday ("I'm moving very fast/as I'm putting off the future/for the rather recent past…"), he uses unexpected, vivid words in infectiously rhythmic cadences. Amusing details abound - in a long list of the many fish a boy is not catching, or in a tall-tale adventure "that's the reason why my homework/isn't here with me today." Many of the entries end with a nifty surprise or a deft comical twist. Stevenson, who also illustrated Prelutsky's The New Kid on the Block (1984), contributes quietly hilarious b&w art. Another winner from this talented pair. (Poetry. 5+)Read full book review >