Cover image for Creature carnival
Creature carnival
Singer, Marilyn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books For Children, [2004]

Physical Description:
40 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Reading Level:
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 77592.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.3.S6154 CR 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.3.S6154 CR 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



This collection of twenty-six poems features some of the creepiest, funniest, most bizarre, and fascinating creatures from myth, legend, and popular culture. Marilyn Singer has written more than sixty books for children and young adults, including Monster Museum, the companion book to Creature Carnival. She and her husband divide their time between Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, Connecticut. Gris Grimly made his picture book debut with Monster Museum. Since then he has illustrated Pinocchio and his own Wicked Nursery Rhymes. Gris Grimly lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Author Notes

Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx, New York, on October 3, 1948, and lived most of her early life in North Massapequa on Long Island. She attended Queens College, City University of New York as an English major and education student, and for her junior year, attended Reading University, in England. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Queens and a MA in Communications from New York University. Marilyn Singer had been teaching English in New York City high schools for several years when she began writing in 1974. Initially, she wrote film notes, catalogues, teacher's guides and filmstrips. She also began looking into magazine writing. Her article proposals were not very successful, but she did manage to have some of her poetry published. Then one day she penned a story featuring talking insects she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories and in 1976 her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published.

Since then, Marilyn has published more than 50 books for children and young adults. In addition to a rich collection of fiction picture books, Singer has also produced a wide variety of nonfiction works for young readers as well as several poetry volumes in picture book format. Additionally, Singer has edited volumes of short stories for young adult readers, including Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls and I Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. See fabled beasts not found in cages. / Spend your parents' hard-earned wages. In this picture-book collection of poems, a creepy Victorian carnival barker, all high-collar cape, stovepipe hat, and menacing invitations, draws a motley crew of kids into the Creature Carnival. In each poem, the barker introduces a new fantastic being from mythology and literature--among them, a mermaid, intent on winning the Miss Ocean pageant, despite having drowned a few judges; and a dragon who is pleased by pearls / and sometimes he eats boys and girls. Singer includes many specific references to mythology and folklore that may fly over kids' heads, even with the aid of the appended glossary. But the rhymed couplets bounce with rhythm and gleefully sinister words that will appeal to children, and Grimly's scribbly ink-and-watercolor illustrations create a gruesome menagerie of characters that are as buffoonish and appealing as they are grotesque. A playful collection of shivery delights that teachers will want to use in both poetry and mythology units. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

A devilish collection of rhymes, Creature Carnival by Marilyn Singer, illus. by Gris Grimly, the pair behind Monster Museum, leads readers through a festival of mythological proportions, with attractions such as the Sphinx ("If she's lyin'/ like a lion/ but she's acting/ like a minx,/ She's a sphinx") and Godzilla ("Fateful day,/ Atomic ray./ Dino mutation,/ Terrified nation"). Singer's irreverent poems once again inspire Grisly's signature brand of fiendishly macabre illustrations. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-A distinguished author and poet combines her sure sense of wordplay with Grimly's command of the eerie and absurd to create an original introduction to 33 fabled beasts. Readers are invited into the carnival-"Our flying horse suggests you duck/Brer Rabbit says, `Hey, try your luck.'/Then watch Godzilla stomp a truck./It's Creature Carnival time"-and are then introduced to each creature through a clever poem that captures its essence and through wonderfully engaging ink illustrations. Neither the drawings nor the poems seem forced-each one seems exactly suited to its chosen subject. Godzilla's giant foot is accompanied by an ingenious summary of every Godzilla film: "Fateful day,/Atomic ray./Dino mutation, /Terrified nation." The poems will bring appreciative smiles from readers who know the stories-and for those who don't, the book concludes with a glossary. Not since Jack Prelutsky and Arnold Lobel teamed up in Nightmares (1976) and The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight (1980, both Greenwillow) has there been a better collection of poems celebrating the weird. Creature Carnival is worth any admission price.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.