cover image The Gargoyle on the Roof

The Gargoyle on the Roof

Jack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09643-4

Prelutsky and S s (The Dragons Are Singing Tonight; Monday's Troll) are at it again, concocting another spine-tingling brew of humorous verse and witty illustrations toasting gruesome ghouls. Celebrating gremlins, griffins and basilisks as well as more garden-variety monsters, Prelutsky's poems are filled with nimble word-play and shameless puns (quips a formerly lonely troll newly equipped with a telephone, ""Feel free to call me, night or day/ .../ I've got a troll-free number""). Whether reciting the laments of an aging werewolf or observing a vampire's daily grooming habits (""When I look into the mirror,/ My reflection's never there./ So I always stare at nothing/ As I shave and comb my hair""), his rhymes never fail to amuse. S s's ethereal oil and gouache illustrations, with their elegantly designed borders and finely cross-hatched detail, play up the inherent humor while bringing a touch of sophistication to the silliness, and he ties the pages together visually with an antique-like ochre frame around each scene. This is another winner from a pair of seasoned collaborators, and fans can only hope they keep them coming. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)