Though this book is all about monsters’ bedtime routines, don’t be fooled—this will induce not sleep but its opposite.
Young readers see each step the monsters take in getting ready for bed and are asked to guess which of several items they might eat for a bedtime snack, use to take a bath and brush their teeth, wear as pajamas, snuggle with, and kiss. The very simple sentences and clues in the bright illustrations allow even the youngest children to “read” this very quickly. “MONSTERS eat bedtime snacks. / Which snack do MONSTERS eat?” A glass of milk, a carrot, a piece of bread, or an umbrella? A turn of the page reveals “MONSTERS eat UMBRELLAS!” Similarly, monsters ignore the rubber ducky, shampoo, and bar of soap in favor of bathing in chocolate pudding. By the third question, most children will have caught on and will be happily blurting out the most ridiculous item on the page, which also happens to stand out clearly from the other three. Helpfully, the author breaks this pattern when it comes to potty time. In his ink, brush, and Photoshop illustrations, Zenz uses bright, plain backgrounds to keep the focus on the characters and their choices. The monsters are adorable and wonderfully diverse in all their multilimbed and -eyed glory, featuring sprouts of hair, horns, tails, and spikes.
Combine monsters, ridiculousness, and audience participation for a delightfully raucous result. (Picture book. 3-5)