cover image Fairies, Trolls, & Goblins Galore: Poems about Fantastic Creatures

Fairies, Trolls, & Goblins Galore: Poems about Fantastic Creatures

. Simon & Schuster, $17 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82352-7

This collection of 17 poems, which lacks the overall pizzazz of Evans and Rogers's previous Weird Pet Poems, features the title fairies, trolls and goblins as well as the less familiar spriggans, banshees and pointed people. Lavish endpapers introduce a dreamy-eyed girl lying in a forest of ferns and jack-in-the-pulpits populated with elfin beings. In Monica Shannon's wry, forthright ""How to Tell Goblins from Elves,"" the girl spies a cheerful goblin baby hanging in a basket and sucking his ""pink and podgy foot/ (As human babies do),/ And then they suck the other one,/ Until they're sucking two""; for the sauntering pace of Muriel E. Windram's ""The Footstep Fairies,"" the heroine's flowered tennis shoes attract a troupe of camouflaged sprites who ""tug with might and main,/ Till all the little blades of grass/ Are standing straight again."" Despite such humor and detail in the verses and artwork, however, both the poems and paintings vary in quality. The imagery can be overly coy--as when a troll is described as ""so cute and wise""--and the flood of teensy, itty-bitty descriptors gets repetitive but specific and lively language in the poems also inspires the artist's best work. Ages 4-up. (Feb.)