THE GARGOYLE ON THE ROOF by Jack Prelutsky

THE GARGOYLE ON THE ROOF

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Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-09643-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1999




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