Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight
Jack Prelutsky ~ Arnold Lobel ~ Greenwillow Books, 1980

Sitting on my MacBook this mourning, thinking about all that was and will ever be. Halloween is swirling around us. Already the neighborhood homes are bedazzled in fake spider webs and the guy down the street has his creepy animatronic zombie up that drags its disemboweled self across his front lawn.

Good times.

The moment I saw this book on the library shelf yesterday, I knew the boy would be in love. One read down, a dozen to go, I'm sure, before the stamped due date calls. (Though I logged on and bought one this morning. It's THAT good. Still in print in paperback, by the way.) This book has propelled Arnold Lobel into an entirely new realm of awesome for me. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

And Mr. Prelutsky is pretty rad, too, conjuring up all sorts of rhyming wretches to freeze the soul. Poems entitled The Poltergeist, The Darkling Elves, The Spectre on the Moor, The Mummy....

Now it must unleash its fury,
spew the venom of its wrath,
and woe to those poor souls who cross
the mummy's mindless path,
for the mummy will destroy them,
they will perish, wracked with pain.
There is terror in the desert
for the mummy walks again.

All kinds of awesome. My son loves a particular Prelutsky book called Scranimals, and he's read it so many times and Mr. P's writing voice is so distinct, that now the boy can spot his lyrics a mile away. Whenever we read a new book by him, I wait for it, and about two or three lines in my son will ask, "Hey, is this the guy who wrote about Scranimal Island?"

That's style, my friends.

You know I have a penchant for all things spooky, and these drawings are fantastic. They give you a whole new perspective on the inner lives of Frog and Toad, that's for sure. Fabulous!

Also by:
The Terrible Tiger
Red Tag Comes Back
The Ice-Cream Cone Coot
Oscar Otter
The Star Thief
Mouse Tales
Prince Bertram the Bad
The Secret Three
Benny's Animals
Miss Suzy
Martha the Movie Mouse
Terry and the Caterpillars
The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck
The Quarreling Book
Three Saxon Nobles
Lazy Blackbird and Other Verses


Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and Etsy!


Bad Ronald said...

Love Jack Prelutsky!!

Unknown said...

What a great find! We have Nightmares which I believe is the first in the "Poems to Trouble Your Sleep" series. It is available on amazon in library binding only Excellent for this spooky time of year. I know Prelutsky is used for many poetry units in schools and both of these would be excellent for the older elementary students. My kids love all his poetry but they seem to delight especially in these ghoulish ones.

Burgin Streetman said...

Oh, I'd forgotten about that one.... sold!

Melissa@Julia'sBookbag said...

FANTASTIC!!!! Lobel really does exist in his own realm of awesome, doesn't he? Oh I must get this...I'll have to wait until Miss Julia is a wee bit older though to read it to her but man, I NEED this one!

Antmusic said...

Oooh! JOY! We have the first one, but I've never seen this one. Very nice!

ahoi! said...

ah man, does my son love Scranimal Island.

Burgin Streetman said...

I know, right? My son's written two different versions of the book himself.

Educationdiva said...

This looks fantastic! I have another recommendation for you: Jabberwocky (Lewis Carroll) illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. This is not vintage exactly, although of course a classic poem. The illustrations are very interesting. Almost terrifying out of George Orwell's world, but the kids are quite fascinated with them.
Great blog!

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