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Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures    by Julie Larios & Julie Paschkis order for
Imaginary Menagerie
by Julie Larios
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Our family loved this author/illustrator team's first collaboration, Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary, and this second book of poetry does not disappoint either.

Each page layout is devoted to a short poem about a mythical creature, accompanied by lush, vibrant illustrations. There are odes to mermaids, will o'the wisps, the phoenix, the centaur, and some lesser known creatures such as the cockatrice and the naga. (We were hoping to find a poem about a unicorn, but it was absent from the collection.)

A full text glossary gives a brief explanation as to the origin of the legend surrounding each mythical creature. The poems themselves are quite expressive and eclectic, though not beyond the understanding of a child.

Here's an excerpt from the poem about Hobgoblins:

'When Glasgow sleeps,
children dream, parents snore,
and invisible creatures do the chores.
With invisible brooms they sweep your room.
They spit and polish and putter and shine.
And while they work, you can hear them mutter -
All mine! All mine!

The distinctive style of art work seems perfectly paired with the lilting text in Imaginary Menagerie.

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