Monday, September 17, 2012

Imaginary Menagerie

Imaginary Menagerie
A Book of Curious Creatures
Poems by Julie Larios
Paintings by Julie Paschkis

The gorgeous illustrations attracted me to this book in the library; and as I flipped through the pages, I knew this collection of poems about mythological creatures will be well-received by the 7-year-old.

Fourteen of the most enigmatic and awe-inspiring beings that make myths so attractive and yet hair-raising in some sense, are presented in this collection by the team who brought Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary, a book of colorful animals.

From Dragon to Troll, Centaur to Firebird, Sphinx to Phoenix, Will o' the Wisp to Hobgoblin, Cockatrice to Thunderbird, the short poems are presented on the left of a double page spread with the paintings on the right.

I'm a snake-tailed rooster,
I'm a rooster-headed snake.
All it takes
to turn you to stone
is one look from me.
Should I crow or should I hiss?

Some poems can be frightful, like the Troll which claims, "...Troll arms will grab you and put you in a pot-" or the Sea Serpent which invites, "Tonight when you sleep, why don't you swim with me through the water?";  but for the most part they are delightful and lyrical, like the Centaur, "Can he be half gallop, half-walk? Half dream, half-real? Half neigh, half talk?..." or the Naga, "I lift the fireballs up from the mud of the Mekong River into the sky. Who am I?"

Last page has More About the Imaginary Menagerie which provides a short paragraph about each of these creatures drawn from various cultures and folklore.

Books also illustrated by Julie Paschkis that we've enjoyed so far - Through Georgia's Eyes, The Yellow Elephant, and Bottle Houses.

[image source:]


Arundhati said...

Just the kind of book the 5 yo will enjoy. And me! I sat down with Monsterology only yesterday :)

Sheela said...

Arundhati:: Monsterology is fun, isn't it? Another favorite, thanks to the fascination with Greek mythology, is Mythological Creatures, A Classical Bestiary by Lynn Curlee - just a page dedicated to such beings as Chimera, Cerberus (which unavoidably got nick-named "Fluffy" in our house), Gryphons, and Sphinx as well as Gorgon Medusa, Talus, Argus, Minotaur and the usual.

Choxbox said...

The illustrations are very similar to this colouring book we have Celtic creatures, gifted by a Scottish friend.

Also remind me of the mythical creatures found on the carved exteriors of the temples in this region - belur and Halebid for instance.

Shall keep and eye out for this one Sheels, thanks.

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