Cover image for Imagine that! : poems of never-was
Imagine that! : poems of never-was
Prelutsky, Jack.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [1998]

Physical Description:
45 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
An illustrated collection of poems about imaginary things, by such authors as Jane Yolen, Conrad Aiken, and Karla Kuskin.
General Note:
Includes indexes.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Oversize
Grand Island Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Frank E. Merriweather Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library PS595.I46 I43 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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There's the Flotz who gobbles dots (watch out if you have freckles), the Phillyloo Bird and the Wendigo, the Hum Bug Machine and the Ogglewop...just try to imagine them! This glorious gathering of 50 poems about imaginary monsters, machines, and other weird things is guaranteed to poke, prod, tease, and tickle a child's own powers of imagination. Here are tales that are a little bit spooky, inspire creative thinking, and are downright funny from such poets as Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, John Ciardi, Spike Milligan, and of course Jack Prelutsky, along with the lively paintings of Kevin Hawkes. This collection is first rate!  

Author Notes

Jack Prelutsky, born on September 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, is primarily known as a poet for children but he is also a gifted musician, actor, photographer, sculptor and potter. Prelutsky studied at Hunter College for two years. He proposed to his future wife, Carolynn, on the day they met; she accepted the next day.

While growing up in Brooklyn, Prelutsky studied voice at The High School of Music and Art in New York and first planned to be an opera singer. However, he decided he did not have the drive to sing opera, and he became a folk singer. Later he tried his hand at drawing. For fun, he wrote some short poems and made some drawings, which became his first publication. He has since published numerous books of illustrated poetry and also provided illustrations for books by other writers, including many in translation.

Prelutsky never condescends to his young readers. He deals in verse with many imaginative creatures, but he also writes about people and problems such bullies, school, and fear of the dark. He is aware of the sound of his words and likes to perform his poetry to the accompaniment of the guitar. He visits schools and libraries to perform his work.

Jack Prelutsky is the recipient of numerous awards. In 1977 The Children's Book Council honored him for Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. His other award-winners are The Mean Old Mean Hyena, The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, and The New Kid on the Block. In 2006, the Poetry Foundation named Prelutsky the inaugural winner of the Children's Poet Laureate award. His book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (illustrated by Carin Berger) won the 2007 Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award of the Washington State Book Awards in the Picture Book category.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Fifty poems of fantasy and nonsense are illustrated with Hawkes' wild, neon-colored acrylics, which pick up the silliness and the fun. Some of the best poems are by Prelutsky himself from his popular collections, and there are rambunctious verses by Karla Kuskin, Dennis Lee, Jane Yolen, Colin West, Florence Parry Heide, John Ciardi, and other well-known children's poets, as well as a few old classics, such as Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky." There are mad contraptions (including "The Hum-Bug Machine") and weird monsters (including the Giraft, the Ollewop ["He's crammed with boys and girls inside" ], and the Snoffle). This is how reading aloud comes very close to play. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Move over, unicorn, dodo and bigfoot‘here comes a circusful of imaginary creatures showing off their tricks. Playing ringleader, Prelutsky (A Pizza the Size of the Sun) assembles some 50 poems‘giddy, sly, slightly shivery or just plain silly. Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" is the only obvious selection; there are inspired entries from John Ciardi, Dr. Seuss, Conrad Aiken and others of high rank, and equally arresting selections from less exalted names. Florence Parry Heide eavesdrops on monster mothers bragging about their babies (" `Mine is ugly.'/ `Mine is mean.'/ `Mine is turning/ Nice and green' "); Colin West describes an Ogglewop ("And though he looks quite passive,/ He's crammed with boys and girls inside,/ ‘That's why he is so massive!"). The sheer brio of the language is sure to amuse, and Prelutsky coaxes still more pleasure with his clever pairings and the volume's smooth flow. Equal credit goes to Hawkes (My Little Sister Ate One Hare), whose full-spread gouaches testify to an apparently tireless imagination in visualizing the various chimeras, monsters, etc. His creatures look invitingly madcap, just a tad menacing but mostly full of fun‘creatures almost guaranteed to raise readers' spirits to full throttle. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 5-These outlandish and nonsensical poems bring in a variety of authors, some not often found in anthologies for children, as well as many favorites such as Ogden Nash, Dr. Seuss, and, of course, the compiler himself. In fact, Prelutsky's fans might wonder if this collection didn't start as one for his own private enjoyment...every poem riddles and rhymes its way through the hilarious, the bizarre, and the completely ridiculous in the way that Prelutsky has mastered. Nonsense poetry achieves its illogic by using perfectly logical and patterned language-it plays by the rules in order to break them. Hawkes's richly colored paintings fit the mood: they're funny and exuberant, and exhibit a child's imagination in the renderings of the creatures described; however, a few miss the mark and seem awkward. The creators have squeezed 50 poems into 42 pages; and although Hawkes has done a good job of using the layout to vary, pace, and tie together the selections, the end product feels busy and cramped. Still, this book is a pleasure, and will be a hit.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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