La La Land is populated by scaredy-cat monsters.
According to the narrator, when bubbles pop, they reappear in La La Land, home of some remarkably uninspired-looking (and -named) monsters. Monsters who are terrified of bubbles. A bubble-gum bubble once popped on the face of a monster named Mogo, and his subsequent fright is the rather weak basis for the collective monster bubblephobia. As Mogo attempts to spread comical misinformation about bubbles, the narrator (who speaks to both the characters and readers) instructs readers to ignore him. A pace-crushing spread of haphazard facts about La La Land comes across as filler to bring this very slight effort up to 32 pages. In the end, the narrator convinces the monsters to face their fears using their fearsome physical qualities. Salmieri does his best, placing hairy, toothy monsters against a black background; a monster called Wumpus looks a little like Sendak’s horned Wild Thing. The final illustration, with the three smaller monsters astride their larger friend fleeing in apparent terror from a monarch butterfly, may be the funniest part of this book.
The book’s potential utility in helping children cope with irrational fears is undermined by its absence of a credible story. (Picture book. 4-7)