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Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures
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Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Who is half gallop, half walk? Who can turn you to stone with one look? Whose voice do you hear in the splash on the shore?Centaurs, mermaids, and other curious creatures populate these wondrous poems and paintings, inspired by a mythological world full of imagination and mystery. Includes end notes about cultures and legends. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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I was largely indifferent to the poems, but quite liked the illustrations, especially the decorative capitals. I appreciate how Paschkis tried to incorporate stylistic elements from the cultures which produced the different mythical beasts.
Destiny Dawn Long
Would give it 3.5 stars if half stars were available. Instead, I rounded up.

My daughter and I loved the book Yellow Elephant, which was also done by this author and illustrator pair. So, when we returned it to the library, I asked if they had anything else that was similar (free verse, nice illustrations, poems that aren't terribly long) and the librarian found this volume.

It has the same general layout as the first book. A poem on one page and a vibrant illustration on the facing page. This o
The poems are simple, easy to read, but don't really distinguish themselves from one another, and while some of the pictures are truly beautiful, others are rather lackluster. I'd also hoped the book would use the poems as a starting point and then elaborate more fully on the nature of the creatures, but the notes on each were limited to a brief sentence or two and, in several instances, didn't explain anything more than the creature's location of origin.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
The only poem I didn't like in this book was the one about trolls. I like the way she uses words, and her choice of creatures from a variety of different cultures around the world. I must read more of her poetry!
Stephanie Jobe
Some books are about the words, and some are about the pictures but this is a weaving of both. I’ll admit the paintings are what drew me to this selection and the fact that I love mythological creatures. On the left you have the poem and she doesn’t stick with any specific format but flexes with variety. The paintings are on the right and though the aesthetic is consistent there is still great range. The poems are fairly simple providing a basic idea of the creatures and if clarification is need ...more
This book of poetry presents mythical creatures from around the world. The poems are concentrated. They are rich with imagery, onomatopoeia, and repetition. Many speak to the reader in the first or second person. The paintings are bold, bright, and beautiful. The book begins with contents, and concludes with a page of additional information about the mythical creatures featured within the text. This book was written so that elementary school readers could comprehend the prose, but it would be ap ...more
Laura Noto
Imaginary Menagerie a Book of Curious Creatures is a picture/ poem book for readers in 2nd- 5th grade. It includes 14 different poems about mythological figures. Some of these creatures include mermaids, centaurs, trolls, dragons, and gargoyles. The layout is clean and well organized. On every other page there is a poem about the creature and on the other page there is a beautiful painting of it. Most of the poems are free verse. This book is well illustrated, nicely written, and easy to read.
Exploring magical creatures from mermaids to phoenix with brilliant illustrations (remind me of illuminated manuscripts), this book is good fun. I can easily see teachers using it as a jumpstart for poety workshops - the poetry is accessible and yet evocative, full of warnings and wonder - from Trolls "Troll arms will grab you and put you in a pot - in with the turnips and the dung and the spuds, in with the beetles and thistles from the ditch...". A full page glossary in the back rounds it all ...more
Best for kids ages 6 and up.
Early Literacy Skills: Vocabulary, Phonological Awareness, Narrative Skills

From cover:
Who is half gallop, half walk? Who can turn you to stone with one look? Whose voice do you hear in the splash on the shore?

Beautiful illustration of some of the most well known mythological creatures. Each illustration is paired up with a cute and easy to read poem that will make remembering this book easy.

The bright and colorful illustrations in this book depict fanciful creatures and each is accompanied by a poem. Some of these creatures will be familiar to children, such as trolls and mermaids, while others will be new to them (or even their parents and teachers!) such as the cockatrice and naga. The pictures are truly the highlight of this book.

Picture book, fantasy, poetry.
Really nice poems about each imaginary creature. I even learned a couple new ones myself! The paintings from local Seattle artist, Julie Paschkis, are breathtaking. They are richly detailed with lots of things for little eyes to look for. The paintings for the Firebird and the Will o' the Wisp are my favorites and are so beautiful, I'd love to have framed prints of them.
If you know me, you know I really don't like poetry all that much. I have the one or two books that meant a lot when I was a kid but really I prefer the story. This book did a great job though of introducing the mythological creatures that I love in a nice rhyming format. Not too bad. Grades 4+
Tanya W
For me, 3 1/2 stars... hard to verbalize why it wasn't my favorite, but it was solidly a "good book" and a worthwhile read... better than most of my 3 star books.

2010 Beehive Award Nominee (children's lit assoc of utah).
A book of poems about legendary creatures such as the dragon, hobgoglins, the phoenix, and more. The illustrations were beautiful, the poems were so-so. The students voted: Loved it-190, Liked it-28, Didn't like it-17.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I absolutely love all the poems and the little explanation at the end of the book is great. BUT -- the flat less-than-lustrous and sometimes too busy illustrations lessened my enjoyment. What a shame!
Steven Withrow
Even better than Yellow Elephant, which my family really enjoyed. While the poems are simple in structure, there's always at least one memorable metaphor or rhyme that arrests the attention.
Blessy Mathew
This was a fascinating introduction to mythical creatures from different cultures. The poetic language was musical capturing the unique essence of these creatures.
Very well-illustrated poetry/picture book. All of the creatures are from folklore/mythological tales around the world. C.2008 genre-poetry
Poems with the theme of mystical, mythical creatures. The poems are full of action and are perfectly matched with this illustrator. Gorgeous book.
A series of poems featuring fantastic creatures, a dragon, mermaid, thunderbird and more. My favorite poem/painting is the Firebird.
Pretty pictures, and a nice introduction to mythological creatures.
Lovely poetry and beautiful Celtic style illustrations.
Rory really enjoyed these illustrations.
Aug 17, 2008 Candi marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-for-kids
Ages 6-9
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Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary Have You Ever Done That? Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary (Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors (Awards)) Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures

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