cover image Monday's Troll

Monday's Troll

Jack Prelutsky. Greenwillow Books, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09644-1

A dynamite team, Prelutsky and Sis (The Dragons Are Singing Tonight) are back on the job, once again dishing up a smorgasbord of verbal and visual delights. They return here to the theme of enchantment, but of the non-fire-breathing type this time around. With his practiced pen, Prelutsky goes right for the funny bone, and his nimble rhymes shine when spotlighting such creatures as the crotchety witch (""My rooms are suffused/ With perennial gloom,/ I never go out,/ I've retired my broom""), a mother ogre's grotesquely funny lullaby to her hideous offspring (""Stifle your tantrum, no kicking, don't bite./ Close your red eye... baby ogre, good-night""), and of course the troll of the title (""Monday's troll is mean and rotten,/ Tuesday's troll is misbegotten""). Occupying full spreads in the guise of antique, framed paintings, Sis's exquisitely detailed artwork, with its distinctive fine cross-hatched lines and bold, unusual color combinations (gentian and ochre, chartreuse and gray), lampoon the ghoulish elements of the verse--his ogres, for instance, are cheerful creatures, watering their flowers and cuddling their children. Sly interpretations (a Snow White-type peeps into the window of the miniature bedroom shared by the seven characters of ""Monday's Troll"") provide a rich visual context for the collection. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)