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Sean O'Huigin. Illustrated by John Fraser and Scott Hughes.
Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press, 1989.
28pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-88753-187-3. Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Monsters-Juvenile poetry.
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Gwen Maguire.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

This book is a collection of ten rather bizarre poems that describe various ghoulish and outrageous monsters who eat children, robots who fall in love, a dinner party consisting of a repulsive diet that begins

with bits of
the type you'd
a rat within

and much more. Each poem is colourfully illustrated and keeps the monsters as grotesque as they sound. The final poem, "Atmosfear," ends the book on a serious note, which describes environmental pollution as a monstrous beast who will eventually destroy the world.

Sean O'Huigin, a native of Brampton, Ontario, is of Irish descent and writes mostly comic poetry. A more serious piece, The Ghost Horse of the Mounties (Black Moss Press, 1983), won him the Canada Council Award for Children's Literature. O'huigin wrote Monsters He Mumbled as a companion volume to Scary Poems for Rotten Kids ¹. In keeping with his unique and sometimes controversial style, the author uses a free-verse form consisting of very short lines (no more than three or four syllables) generally devoid of capitalization and punctuation. In Poe-Tree: A Simple Introduction to Experimental Poetry (Black Moss Press, 1978), O' Huigin explains the mechanics of language as artificial conventions that get in the way of the individual's personal experience and interpretation of the various meanings of a poem.

These poems lend themselves best to being read aloud because the young reader could easily have trouble trying to decipher the patterns and rhymes of the text as it is written.

Gwen Maguire, St. John's, NF.

¹ Reviewed vol. XI/4 July 1983, p.169; new edition reviewed vol. XVII/1 January 1989, p.18.

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