Module 14 — Poetry collection

The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme by Bobbi Katz

Module 14 — Poetry Collection


Katz, B.  (2009).  The monsterologist: A memoir in rhyme.  New York, NY: Sterling.


The MonsterOlogist by Bobbi Katz  presents the poetic memoirs of a traveling researcher who provides the reader with “the choicest fruits of [his] research in this rare collection of letters, notes, and interviews.”   King Kong, the Kraken, Werewolves, Zombies, Count Dracula, Nessie and other assorted monsters are subjects of the MonsterOlogist’s quest and verse in this delightfully designed and illustrated.   The scrapbook of a poetic, whimsical collage artist, this visually enticing book is a creative collection in verse and image.

My Impressions

This book is beautifully illustrated and the poems are witty and fun.  The book is very creatively designed and the poems are funny and entertaining.  The poems follow several different rhyme schemes and they’re all good for reading aloud.  This book is a lot of fun and probably especially good for grades 5 – 7.


Chipman, I. (2009). The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme. Booklist, 106 (2), 61.

Definitely not to be mistaken as an entry in the increasingly ubiquitous Ology line, this book offers a collection of hideous beastie-based verses. From an invitation to visit Count Dracula to an international zombie census, the quality of the poems is wildly inconsistent, sometimes even from line to line, as when a clever gross-out (“Greasy green lizards / and raw chicken gizzards,”) gets a poem rolling, only to have it fall flat on its face with “spell-binding spells / cast by spell-casting wizards.” More often than not, though, bursts of devilish humor and winking creepiness keep things moving, and McCauley’s well-designed pages-outfitted in a sort of loose, splashy collage, with a few sturdy fold-outs–have browsing appeal. Cleverly, alongside old favorites–from medusas and witches to krakens and the Loch Ness Monster–Katz dreams up her own baddies, like the compu-monster, that gobbles up hard drives, and the voracious Verbivore (take heed, librarians!).

Jansen-Gruber, M. (2009). The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme. Retrieved from

The world is full of ologists of all kinds. There are biologists, zoologist, botanists, psychologists, and now there is a monsterologist. He is a very brilliant man who travels around the world looking for, and even getting to know, monsters of all kinds. For the first time ever, the monsterologist has brought together letters, interviews, and notes that he has in his collection so that you can read about some of the secrets of the world’s most famous monsters.

Enjoy reading a letter from Count Dracula, and shudder as you read a recipe that the monsterologist believes belonged to Grendel’s mother. Read the “Ghost Notes” that the monsterologist has selected, and find out how three famous dead musicians still walk the earth. Learn what it was like to seek a yeti in “the snowy Himalayas.” Don’t forget too to look at the email offer that the monsterologist received inviting him to co-direct a zombie survey.

This highly entertaining and deliciously inspired book is sure to delight any budding monsterologist. With clever rhymes, a varied selection of formats, and wonderful multi-media artwork, this is a book that readers will dip into again and again.

Using in the Library

Young people seem drawn to strange, beastly, or fantastical creatures, whether real or imaginary.   Have students choose one of the book’s monsters to research.   Using library resources, have students compare the results of their research with the observations and conclusions stated in the memoirs of the MonsterOlogist.  Students create posters including printed images and/or drawings.  Adding text on flaps or contained on mounted envelopes, students explain their findings or write their own monstrous memoirs.


About Boyd Waltman

Boyd Waltman is a film editor in Houston, Texas.
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