GOD BLESS THE GARGOYLES by Dav Pilkey

GOD BLESS THE GARGOYLES

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Pilkey (The Paperboy, p. 141, etc.) joins the medieval fray with a bucolic approach to the journey of gargoyles from the cathedrals of the Middle Ages to modern cityscapes. The half-comic, half-grotesque, goblin-like animals and monsters from medieval religious art, once representing evil and temptation from a dragon-infested underworld, here become contemporary symbols of the misunderstood, in contrast to the spooky black-and-white gargoyles in Eve Bunting and David Wiesner's Night of the Gargoyles (1994). In rhyming pairs of couplets, Pilkey tells of the lonely, the lost, the left behind, all in lowercase type: ``god bless the ones who sing everything wrong/god bless the ones who do not belong.'' Blue angels rescue shadowy gargoyles and wing their way amidst cathedrals and stained glass windows, above skyscrapers, across a deep blue-and-purple night. Pilkey infuses his skies with much of the same fantasy inventiveness as Chagall; however, the solitary spread that pinpoints a specific setting creates for readers a visual pun of sorts--gargoyles hover as witnesses to angels who land in the well-known Edward Hopper painting of a diner, Night Hawks. Perhaps the quintessential American image of loneliness and isolation, the scene proves ``that the souls of the lost weren't really alone.'' The constrained cadences are more statement than story, weighing down the lilting paintings with their hopeful but heavy message. Still, readers will find solace in this modern-day answer to existentialism. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-200248-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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