Feeling a little scared? How about sad or shy? Have you ever been surprised by a kind gesture or felt empowered by your dreams?
In Welcome to Monsterville (Apprentice House Press, 2023), Laura Shovan and Michael Rothenberg introduce us to sixteen fun and quirky monsters, each embodying a relatable human emotion or state of being.
The collection opens with this intriguing fellow:
Hello, children! Please don't hide. The gate is open. Come inside. We're glad you're here in Monsterville. Our tour today is creature-filled. Our residents aren't ordinary. They're friendly! Thoughtful! Shy and scary. They live with humans side by side. You want to meet them? Come inside.
We soon sense our new monster friends are not only all around us, but within us. Have you ever stomped off to the green cave of anger? Want to be charmed by monsterflies, or revel in the pure joy of monster houses, who shiver and shake, kaboom and quake?
Here’s a chance to consider, observe, and turn a feeling inside out via inventive personification, crackerjack wordplay, and imaginative art that makes the abstract visible. Here is validation and feeling understood. This book is an appealing reminder that poetry has the power to reveal as well as heal.
The backstory of this collection is interesting and poignant. On the eve of the pandemic, friends Laura and Michael (who sadly passed away last November) embarked on a ‘creative conversation’ after bonding over shared grief and confusion regarding their sons. Michael was unable to write for awhile, but found release and expression in art therapy.Continue reading