The genesis of this captivating book was unusual: the compiler (who is also an illustrators' agent), responding to Rogers's fascination with monsters ("" 'They' kept popping up in her sketches; and we would talk about 'them' as though they already existed and were only in need of a place to be""), chose these 16 poems not only for their appeal but also to summon Rogers's particular vision. The result has a great deal of variety and a special charm, nicely summed up in a poem by de Regniers--""scare me easy/scare me slow/Scare me gentle/Don't let go/my hand."" Though there are plenty of ghoulies, ghosties, and witches here, there's nothing wicked or gruesome; an ingenuous humor is at work, and recognition that these superficially ugly creatures (like Max's Wild Things) represent a part of ourselves that's not too bad. Whether it's Sawyer's picnicking bugs capsized by a ""giant"" toddler or Lee's ""Thunder"" made by a giant's children slamming doors, Bennett's power-shovel dinosaur or Prelutsky's armored ankylosaurus, Ciardi's Halloween creatures or cummings's ""Hist Whist,"" imagination is the key. Mellow, witty, and delightfully inventive, Rogers's illustrations are her best yet. A year-round winner.