Pigmares: Porcine Poems of the Silver Screen
Doug Cushman, author
Doug Cushman has written and/or illustrated more than one hundred books for children, including Halloween Goodnight, the Dirk Bones series, and the Inspector Hopper series. Doug lives in Paris, France.
Read more about Doug.
- IRA/CBC Children's Choices list
Mummy Pigs, Frankenswine and Werehogs...oh my!
"A thousand-foot pig breathing nuclear fire. / Gurgling gasps from a swamp's murky mire. / Sharp fangs and red eyes on pale porcine faces. / Dead zombies crawl out from foul-smelling places." Prolific illustrator and occasional scribe Cushman versifies classic movie and literary monsters in 18 single-page poems with accompanying movie-poster-inspired watercolor illustrations starring, of course, pigs rather than people. Plants from outer space (Pigweed), the Yeti (Abominable Snow Pig) and Pig Kong all enjoy the spotlight in turn. All entries are rhymed, though in various schemes, and each has a humorous twist beyond the punny titles. "I ride along the highway, / a demonic, devilish bat. / 'Tisn't just a head I want, / but a place to put my hat," says the swiney spirit in "The Legend of Sleepy Wallow." Several sentences of notes about each poem in the "credits" at the back of the book detail the film or book or scene that inspired the verse and the picture, adding a layer of fun and information that may lead young spook seekers to the source material.
Likely to inspire more giggles than gasps; these hammy horrors are sure to please.
School Library Journal
These 17 delightful piggy poems will give youngsters more giggles than chills. A small pajama-clad pig who has just gotten home from a scary movie realizes belatedly that "I should never watch monsters on film before bed!" Full-color movie posters accompany the poems that follow. Among them are Frankenswine on an Arctic ice floe, the Mummy Pig awakening from a 3000-year sleep, and the Phantom Hog of the Opera composing his masterpiece, "Pigoletto." Another poster features the Werehog that "yowls his mournful tune./The saddest sound you'll ever hear:/his oinking at the moon!" In a poem for two voices, mild Dr. Hogwell becomes the monstrous Mr. Pigg. True to their porcine natures, the great Pig Kong is a vegetarian, and the vampire piglets of the night are after swill instead of blood. The collection ends with Night of the Living Ham, in which the young pig sees similarities between the zombies of the movie and his parents before their morning coffee. Cushman includes "Movie Credits"-three pages of information about the original films. His colorful cartoon illustrations are done in pen-and-ink and watercolors. Whether read independently or aloud to a group, this collection is a good choice for all libraries. Continue the fun with Arnold Lobel's Book of Pigericks (HarperCollins, 1983).
Cushman pairs pigs with classic movie monsters to create pun-heavy poems, including "Porker from the Black Lagoon" and "Pigzilla." While unabashedly silly, the poems are also fluid and clever: "Why is the werehog howling?/ Is his pig swill at an end?/ Did he stub his toe upon a rock/ or lose his pig best friend?/ The werehog howls his torment./ He yowls his mournful tune./ The saddest sound you'll ever hear:/ his oinking at the moon!" The pen-and-ink depictions of comically sinister hogs pair seamlessly with these crowd-pleasing poems.
"They stumble on decaying limbs; / flesh hangs like half-pulled toffee." This title, featuring gruesome nonsense verse about vampire piglets and porkers from the Black Lagoon, will appeal to both young kids as well as older readers who may recognize the sly references to classic movies, from Dr. Hogwell and Mr. Pigg to The Bride of Frankenswine. Cushman's wild ink-and-watercolor cartoons extend the fun with images of Pig Kong and Phantom Hog of the Opera. An appendix includes summaries of the movies that inspired the verse. Great fun for Halloween sharing.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-457-5 PDF
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Page count: 44