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The Gargoyle on the Roof

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Nobody but Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis could thrice dip into a bubbling cauldron of spooky fun and produce The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, Monday's Troll, and now The Gargoyle on the Roof. Young fans who've been growling for more from this remarkable pair will devour these seventeen new poems. And whether they prefer gargoyles, griffins, or gremlins, this one-of-a-kind collection of poetry and ingeniously eerie paintings provides something for everyone to chant out loud, memorize--and shiver over!

39 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1999

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About the author

Jack Prelutsky

124 books218 followers
Jack Prelutsky is an American poet. He attended New York public schools, and later the High School of Music and Art and Hunter College. Prelutsky, who has also worked as a busboy, furniture mover, folk singer, and cab driver, claims that he hated poetry in grade school because of the way it was taught. He is the author of more than 30 poetry collections including Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep< and A Pizza the Size of the Sun. He has also compiled countless children's anthologies comprised of poems of others'. Jack Prelutsky was married to Von Tre Venefue, a woman he had met in France. They divorced in 1995, but Jack remarried. He currently lives in Washington state with his wife, Carolyn. He befriended a gay poet named Espiritu Salamanca in 1997 and both now work together in writing poems and stories for children and adults alike.

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5 stars
36 (26%)
4 stars
51 (37%)
3 stars
38 (28%)
2 stars
7 (5%)
1 star
3 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Kaethe.
6,452 reviews473 followers
July 14, 2014
I like my verse light, my subject matter gothic (or faux-gothic), my art richly detailed, and all of it with sardonic tone. So yeah, perfect. Goes well with Adam Rex or Edward Gorey.

Library copy.
Profile Image for Becky Loader.
1,784 reviews17 followers
March 29, 2022
I have forgotten how much fun Jack Prelutsky's poems are! I loved the one about the vampire family with the werewolf child. *snicker*
Sis' lovely illustrations add to the effect.
April 20, 2009
I thought this was a fun way to look at monsters for kids. It has a poem about a werewolves’ barber and how dangerous it can be trimming their nails. The images are dark and spooky but not too scary for young kids. Appropriate for 9 to 12 year olds or young monsters. :P
Profile Image for Amy.
549 reviews
January 25, 2018
These poems are fun, spooky, and surprising. My kids have loved them at many different ages. We checked it out from the library many times and finally found our own copy. Our favorite is "My Sister is a Werewolf."
1,942 reviews16 followers
October 17, 2021
Every so often I throw in some Jack Prelutsky poems into our morning time. He is one of our favorite poets who always makes us laugh....krb 10/17/21
Profile Image for Geo Hendrick.
386 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2022
Great Poems nice and short. All about creepy creatures. Full color pages, Fun!
99 reviews2 followers
July 1, 2022
Fun poetry-some humorous, others creepy but still appropriate for kids. Maybe not very young children 😉
Profile Image for Mr. Cody.
1,485 reviews25 followers
May 3, 2023
Awful poetry and some equally dreadful art. Very uninspired and uninteresting. Gross even.
28 reviews
November 27, 2016
This is a collection of light, silly poems about different creatures. We have discussed in the course how larger audiences can view children's poetry as silly or simple, and Jack Prelutsky's work is an example of this. Still, Peter Sis' illustrations add some darkness to the poems. The borders on each page unify the poems with a different illustration surrounding each page. The book is also interesting for its characters - each poem contains a different monster or Halloween-related character (and reveals that character's struggles or feelings).
Profile Image for Lili.
509 reviews
August 25, 2015
Add a half star. The third (final) book of poetry by Jack Prelutsky and Peter Sis, which I found as a hostess gift for my little friend in Texas next week. It took awhile since the title is out-of-print.

The illustrations are awesome, even better than those in Monday's Troll, especially the facial expressions on the gargoyles and griffins. I had high hopes of finding griffins in the collection, but there was only one poem about "Guffin and Giffin, Unthinkable Griffins." I'm still not quite sure of the read-aloud rhythm for that one.

The poetry was good, but I still prefer the poetry in The Dragons Are Singing Tonight. Like the troll collection, but unlike the dragon collection, the gargoyle collection contains other unrelated characters: werewolves, vampires, trolls, goblins, the griffins, a headless horseman and even a basilisk. It just wasn't as much fun to jump across the different topics while reading. The poems were also a very odd mix of extremely short (4-6 lines) and extremely long (an entire page top-to-bottom). But it was kind of cute to read the "Mother Gargoyle's Lullaby" ten pages into the book, then to read the children's response ("Song of the Baby Gargoyles") ten pages later, and then finish the book with "The Gargoyle on the Roof."

After reading all three books of poetry, "I am BOOM" from The Dragons Are Singing Tonight is still my overall favorite poem. It still seems to be the best read-aloud silly poem, and possibly some of the best illustrations.
Profile Image for Julia Jasztal.
522 reviews
February 3, 2013
Mommy's review from 10/29/11 -

There aren't very many poetry books listed here for Julia or myself. Neither of us is very interested in it really. We borrowed this from the library because we were on a spooky book hunt and while checking out happened to see this. We didn't look closely, if we had we may have left it, and found it was a collection of "spooky" poems once we cracked it open yesterday afternoon.
They're good. They're my kind of poems. Julia's too. They rhyme for the most part, important to me. They're funny which goes a long way with us. They're all short which is a good thing for someone who isn't a fan of poetry in the first place.
I have to admit that I was surprised how much we liked them. That's not to say they're all fantastic. I'd estimate we liked/loved about 90-95% with the other 5-10% being just "okay". I don't remember any that we didn't like. I do remember us both laughing out loud and nudging each other numerous times.
IMO they're not so scary they couldn't be read to a kid younger than Julia. In that case, with me, I just switch a word or two and keep right on going. If you think fast it's easy. But this is "spooky" without being terrifying.
I think we'll try to find if Jack Prelutsky has any others like this. With Halloween right around the corner it's a great time to read this to the little ones.
Profile Image for Jennie.
649 reviews45 followers
January 21, 2008
A collection of poetry about dark creatures such as vampires, ghouls and the boogeyman. The author is sympathetic to the subtle feelings of these characters. Cleverly written with a very silly but amusing sense of humor. I laughed at a few of the puns. Also somewhat thought provoking since all the “monsters” actually have quite human feelings.
Profile Image for Karen GoatKeeper.
Author 18 books30 followers
October 14, 2015
The poems are fun. The illustrations are superb. This is a delightful book to read silently or aloud. Many of the poems have a thoughtful theme buried in the fun lines.

Although a gargoyle may sound like a scary Halloween subject, these are not really scary poems. They are also short with rhyme and meter making them easy to read aloud.
Profile Image for Rachel.
2,822 reviews55 followers
March 11, 2009
Cute poems about monsters: vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, bogeymen etc. Kids would love them. I actually preferred the Jack Prelutsky poem in "A Family of Poems" by Caroline Kennedy, which I read immediately afterwards a whole lot better.
May 31, 2010
aussi bon en français qu'en anglais, ce livre mérite une lecture à voix haute, en classe ou en famille. Les illustrations sont aussi fortes que les poèmes. Fantastic book, of course -- this is Prelutsky, after all.
Profile Image for Martha.
493 reviews
August 20, 2015
Crisp and witty poems about frightening creatures paired with Peter Sis' inventive illustrations makes this book a real treat. My fave: "I'm Not Open for an Hour" (about a barber whose clientele is werewolves; this barber needs to prepare for his terrifying customers carefully, after all).
Profile Image for Gretchen.
Author 5 books21 followers
October 24, 2014
A clever set of children's poems that focus on the "monsters" that usually show up as the antagonists in children's stories. I like the tongue-in-cheek subject matter and the fun, frivolous tone of the tales.
Profile Image for Maria.
146 reviews9 followers
October 11, 2012
A collection of poems that would be great to read for Halloween. The poems about the gargoyles are my favorite. The picture clues can be used to figure out what certain poems are saying.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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