In celebration of our bimonthly theme connected with all things paranormal, I am very excited to share with you this monstrously-awesome book: The Monsterologist, a Memoir in Rhyme – for Poetry Friday which is hosted this week by Jim at Hey, Jim Hill!
What is a Monsterologist? The book begins by elucidating exactly what a monsterologist is in the poem entitled Meet a Monsterologist:
To learn about birds, consult an ornithologist. To learn just what makes people tick, seek out a wise psychologist. But…. if monsters are what interest you, the how and why of what they do, I know the facts: What’s false, what’s true, since I’m a monsterologist.
I love the qualifier wise in consulting a psychologist – indeed, indeed, how true. I’ve never heard of a monsterologist before – had I known about this when I was younger, I probably still would not have taken this course (being a celebrated scaredy-cat, I admit).
Areas of Expertise. I love how this entire book is crafted – I would even go as far as claim that this would be among my top reads last year. As one flips through the pages, one could have a greater discernment of the various areas of expertise of a monsterologist. We see firsthand a hand-written letter to the monsterologist by Count Dracula straight from Transylvania (in verse, naturally) in From the desk of Count Dracula. The reader also gets to learn The Truth about the Ogre and do heed the Werewolf Warning which would make one easily sniff out a werewolf “if the palm/ of the hand/ you’re shaking/ is sprouting hair” – easy enough to detect, I suppose.
The reader is also taken through a trip around the globe and explore mythical creatures such as the one killed by Beowulf many centuries ago in Understanding Grendel – it comes with a luscious recipe for Danish Pastry, if I may add. There is, of course, the one-eyed Cyclops as one travels through Sicily:
There is also The Kraken from Norway (an overly-enthusiastic hugger, is all he really is, I’m glad the monsterologist has clarified that) – and let us not forget The Yeti in the snowy Himalayas – who absolutely loves loves loves (guess what?) spaghetti!
In addition to An Interview with the Loch Ness Monster, and seeing first hand Bluebeard’s Personal Ad (seeking a maiden fair, no doubt), I was also tickled to discover newly-named creatures such as The Compu-Monster (“causing chaos in cyberspace,/ it slips around and multiplies, / then CRASH! / one more computer dies.”), and The Suds-Surfing Sock-Eater: A Conjecture – the monsterologist is quite particular in emphasizing that the existence of this sock-eater has not been proven empirically, as yet. And there is the glorious International Zombie Survey that would have to be filled out by the undead – funded by the Undertakers Union and the Rest in Peace Foundation. I was keen in studying how the questions were crafted, personally, to ensure that no leading questions were asked – and true enough, they were quite rigorously conceptualized, including questions such as: Do you consider yourself an equal opportunity eater? and several choices in reference to their eating habits and a physical description of how they must have been in their former life (choices include: teacher’s pet, class clown, hall monitor).
Poetry Offering. While I loved almost everything about the book, I have chosen to share My Favorite Things with you – I would strongly recommend that you sing along with the verse rather than simply read it aloud:
Greasy green lizards and raw chicken gizzards spell-binding spells cast by spell-casting wizards. Dead mice and head lice and flapping bat wings – these are a few of my favorite things! Bare bones and tombstones in old cemeteries, unsweetened pies filled with wild sour cherries. Cat claws and rat paws and bumblebee stings – these are a few of my favorite things! [for the rest of the poem/song, you’d have to find the book yourself! tee-hee]
To know more about the amazing Bobbi Katz, click here to be taken to her website – and click here to be taken to Adam McCauley’s official site. The Monsterologist also has its own website here which you might want to check out!
The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme. Ghostwritten by Bobbi Katz and Illustrated by Adam McCauley. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2009. Book borrowed from the community library. Book photos were taken by me.
PictureBook Challenge Update: 13 of 120