Monsters attending parties are a popular picture-book topic; this circular tale adds one more to the shelf.
A friendly young monster receives a party invitation: “Monster invited. / Monster delighted. / Monster squeals, ‘SO EXCITED!’ ” The pastel-blue monster’s antics should elicit a few giggles, as when he primps in front of the bathroom mirror in his underwear or when he gets ready to chomp on a bug-covered pizza. Games are played, food is eaten, a food fight is begun, gifts are opened—and a temper tantrum erupts when it is time to say goodbye. The monster’s dad is a master distracter and redirects his son’s attention to checking the mail. Surprise (or not): Another invitation has arrived, and the creature’s frown disappears: “Monster glee. / Monster yippee! / Monster marks RSVP.” Unfortunately, the rhyming text fails to encourage participation and lacks the unfailing rhythm that would make it a good read-aloud choice. Bach’s monsters are more cuddly than scary, which may add some appeal for younger readers.
Pass on this party unless tame titles for the preschool set are needed. (Picture book. 3-5)