Cute, but fuzzy in its message, and not memorable.

MONSTERS DON'T CRY

Little Archie is very brave, but could it really be true that he never cries?

A bad dream awakens orange monster Archie in the middle of the night (his teddy bear has exactly the same frightened expression on its face), but he doesn't cry. He just snuggles into bed between Daddy and Mummy. When his toy boat springs a leak, when he's chased by a goat, when he falls off his swing, and even when he eats too much birthday cake, the story is the same: "Monsters may roar, may growl or just sigh, / But monsters are strong, monsters don't cry!" Archie also gets stuck in a tree, lost in a maze, scared by a bee during a picnic and dizzy after riding his tricycle in circles, and still there are no tears. But when his hug causes Teddy's head to come off, Archie's brave front crumbles, and the tears come. Luckily, Mummy and Daddy are right there to fix things. "Monsters may roar, may growl or just sigh, / But monsters need love if ever they cry." McKee's verse is accessible, and his repeated refrain properly catchy. Burfoot's pictures, in watercolor and colored pencils, are eye-poppingly bright and full of funny touches; Teddy is depicted in every adventure as Archie's Mini-Me, probably the book’s strongest feature.

Cute, but fuzzy in its message, and not memorable. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84939-291-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Andersen Press USA

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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For youngsters working on self-control (a school-readiness skill), Stewart does…eventually…learn that good things come to...

THIS MONSTER CANNOT WAIT!

Stewart, from This Monster Needs a Haircut (2012), is going camping for the first time, and he (literally) cannot wait.

The camping trip is five whole days away. That is agony for such an impulsive and excitable monster. (Even on the title page, he’s already urging readers to “Just read the book already!”) In the hopes of speeding things up, Stewart paints the clocks, changes the calendar and even builds a time machine—but nothing works. Then Stewart realizes that if he could just make the end of the story come faster, camping would come faster too! Crumbling the fourth wall for readers, he reaches down to tug at the corners of the pages, while eagerly ripping another completely in half. Fortunately, Stewart’s parents are not amused and make him tape the book back together. Toothy and unkempt, with wild eyes and a temper tantrum of a roar—“I wanna go camping NOW!”—Stewart fully embodies a preschooler who has not yet mastered the art of waiting. Barton’s sprawling, hand-lettered text and its buoyant placement match the urgency of Stewart’s desperation. Patience is certainly a virtue, and one that is difficult to learn.

For youngsters working on self-control (a school-readiness skill), Stewart does…eventually…learn that good things come to those who wait. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 18, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3779-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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“If a monster is tired and grumpy, send it to bed and say, ‘GO TO SLEEP!’ ” Like that would work.

MONSTER, BE GOOD!

A blatantly psychotherapeutic variation on Where the Wild Things Are and like empowerment fare.

An invisible narrator addresses young children: “Don’t be scared! You are in charge of the monsters. If you tell them how to behave, they will listen.” Depicting externalization in action, Marshall crowds each busily colored and patterned spread with mildly scary cartoon cousins of Ed Emberley’s Big Green Monster. They are all acting out or being selfish, mean or grumpy, but they are quickly brought into line with a corrective command like “Be quiet!”; “Sit still!”; or “Take turns!” Whether such direct orders will be more effective in real life coming from a child’s mouth than an irritated caregiver’s is anybody’s guess, but children (and, for that matter, parents) may derive some satisfaction from at least the pretense of authority that is offered here.

“If a monster is tired and grumpy, send it to bed and say, ‘GO TO SLEEP!’ ” Like that would work. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60905-314-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Blue Apple

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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