HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Monster Soup And Other Spooky Poems
Author: Dilys Evans
Illustrator: Jacqueline Rogers
Publisher: Cartwheel Books, republished in 1995
ISBN-13: 978-0606078832 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0606078835 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0590452090 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0590452096 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Evans, Dilys. Monster Soup And Other Spooky Poems (published in 1992 by: Scholastic Incorporated). The origin of this fascinating book was unusual. Compiler Dilys Evans, who is also an illustrators’ agent, responded to illustrator Jacqueline Rogers’s fascination with monsters and chose sixteen poems on the subject of monsters–some prehistoric, some imaginary—all previously published, to be portrayed cleverly with captivating watercolor artwork by Rogers. In addition to the title poem by Margo Lundell, there are selections by e. e. cummings, Jack Prelutsky, John Ciardi, and a dozen others, including “Giant,” by Elizabeth Sawyer, portraying a red-rubber-booted child as an unlikely monster from an insect’s point of view; “Thunder,” by J. Lee, which explains the phenomenon as the slamming of doors in a giant’s house; and “The Power Shovel,” by Rowena Bennett who compares a large backhoe to a prehistoric beast.
This collection of scary, spooky, silly poems about monsters, dragons, and other creatures makes for perfect Halloween reading and is nicely summed up in the poem by de Regniers—“Scare me easy/Scare me slow/Scare me gentle/Don’t let go/my hand.” While there are plenty of ghoulies, ghosties, and witches here, nothing is wicked or gruesome. There are a few surprising selections but everything is appropriate for the age level intended with just enough fright power and wild images to appeal to school-age children who are invited to come inside and meet some very creepy creatures, like giants and goblins, dragons and dinosaurs, monsters and trolls, ghosts and ghouls, who are all waiting for them in the pages of this book. We checked this out of the library for our older son Mark when he was learning how to read.