Enter, if you dare, the Monster Museum, whose halls are crowded with the likes of Count Dracula, Bigfoot, poltergeists, Medusa, mummies, zombies, werewolves, and The Blob. Nine gawking children, dressed in itchy-looking green tweed school uniforms, are led through the spider-strewn museum by a sinister, leering docent, who introduces each ghastly monster in verse:
Alas, King Kong, he sealed his fate
When he climbed up the Empire State
Oh, why'd he try this great escape?
'Cause they called him a monkey
And he was an ape!
While Marilyn Singer's rhymes are often forced, the humor and subtle edification compensates. (One myth debunked: Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the creature himself, who whines "No wonder I'm cranky-- / Stop calling me Frankie! / Won't somebody
give me a name!"). Gris Grimly's weird illustrations are appropriately creepy--even the regular human beings (who systematically disappear throughout the tour) sport some grotesque body parts, including giant, gnarled hands. (Ages 4 to 7) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
To the rollicking beat of Singer's (The Circus Lunicus) absurd poems, children trail an undead docent through a "monster museum" where the exhibits are wax replicas... or are they? The visitors see Frankenstein's creation ("I'm called Frankenstein,/ but it's his name, not mine"), the Blob and "Those mixed-up beasts from ancient Greece: the chimera, the cockatrice." Grimly, a Charles Addams devotee, packs the spreads with frantic activity that rewards sharp eyes; on the tour, sneaky things ambush museum-goers. Among the season's best creature features. Ages 5-9.
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