Friendly monsters play a game of hide-and-seek with readers among the landmarks of New York City.
On each double-page spread, readers are invited to search for the critters and take in the sights of the city. A gray, amoeba-shaped varmint sits camouflaged against the sea lions’ rocks of the Central Park Zoo; googly-eyed creatures ensconce themselves between Manhattan towers; a speckled, neck-tie–wearing monster spooks ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. In every scene, a one-eyed, red beastie wielding a telescope indicates how many monsters there are to find, usually six to eight. While this critter is not to be counted, its presence may confuse literal toddlers, who may use it in their enumerations. Some of the creatures are quite difficult to find even for grown-ups, particularly the monsters who look like people and a hellion shaped like the flame of the Statue of Liberty’s torch. Many of the landmarks are highly identifiable, and the city scenes are surprisingly authentic despite the presence of the friendly fiends. The minimal text, nestled in the opposite corner from the counting prompt, labels the sights and shares a little more about the monstrous visitors. The companion titles in the City Monsters series, Chicago Monsters and San Francisco Monsters, follow the same format.
While the book may prove a frustrating search-and-find experience for little ones, youngsters will enjoy the familiar scenes, whether they be residents or recent visitors. (Board book. 2-4)