A young child finds the courage to banish a familiar monster in this nearly wordless picture book.
The front endpapers depict a pencil drawing of a monster seen from the perspective of the artist. The story commences with the eponymous Molly reading in a window. She watches wistfully as a group of children crosses the street, but what’s that behind them? It looks like the monster in her drawing, which she crumples angrily before rushing outside to approach the kids—but she does not interact. The monster—a manifestation of Molly’s shyness—lingers behind a tree, watching. The children leave a book behind. Molly puts it in her bag and sets off after them, the monster a few steps behind. Molly’s shyness multiplies as the monster is joined by a multitude of others; they dog her trail as she runs through horizontal panels, climbing trees and crawling through a log in order to elude them. How can Molly outwit her shyness? Maybe it’s as simple as saying, “Hi.” The artwork itself feels bashful, with soft colors and plenty of white space. Readers struggling with their own shyness will find inspiration in this plucky heroine. The crosshatched monsters, with sharp angles, mean mouths, and tiny eyes, are appropriately scary. Molly has tan skin and curly brown hair. One of the other children appears black; the others are white.
Brave indeed. (Picture book. 4-8)