Thomas Hobbes would approve of this yeti’s natural state, but perhaps he should go by his other name: abominable.

DON'T WAKE THE YETI!

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a great surprise that yetis are big, hairy, emotional, flea-bitten, slug-eating, gas-blowing gross-outs.

They come at readers in couplets, these unsavory traits of the yeti that hides under the bed. Let it be known that not all yeti behaviors are disreputable: they enjoy baths if they can make a mess; if reminded, they brush their teeth; and they can shape-shift into chairs and rugs so mom doesn’t send them packing. But Freedman’s story is about celebrating the yeti’s grand bloopers. Don’t, for instance, bring him to school, even if he is equipped with a tiny backpack and tears in his eyes: “Of course when you tell him, ‘Off to school! Can’t be late!’ / he’ll beg to go with as your brand-new classmate.” (That couplet’s as curious as the yeti.) So the young white protagonist brings him to school, where, when he’s not gorming slugs on the playground, “he’ll make loud embarrassing noises—Phoo-eee!” Yes, that variety of windblast, for we have already covered eructation—“yetis say THANK YOU in BURPS!”—during the slobbering of breakfast. Ranucci endeavors to govern the proceedings with sweet-toned illustrations and party-cake colors, but when the topic is the yeti’s vast population of fleas, it’s best not to go too deep into the issue.

Thomas Hobbes would approve of this yeti’s natural state, but perhaps he should go by his other name: abominable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1690-4

Page Count: 37

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone.

HOW I MET MY MONSTER

From the I Need My Monster series

In a tardy prequel to I Need My Monster (2009), candidates for that coveted spot under the bed audition.

As the distressingly unflappable young narrator looks on, one monster after another gives it a go—but even with three mouths, the best roar Genghis can manage is a puny “blurp!”, silly shadow puppets by shaggy Morgan elicit only a sneeze, and red Abigail’s attempt to startle by hiding in the fridge merely leaves her shivering and pathetic. Fortunately, there’s Gabe, who knows just how to turn big and hairy while lurking outside the bathroom and whose red-eyed stare and gross drooling sends the lad scrambling into bed to save his toes. “Kid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” the toothy terror growls. Right he is, the lad concludes, snuggling down beneath the covers: “His snorts and ooze were perfect.” As usual, the white-presenting child’s big, bright, smiling face and the assortment of bumbling monsters rendered in oversaturated hues keep any actual scariness at tentacle’s length. Moreover, Monster, Inc. fans will delight in McWilliam’s painstaking details of fang, claw, hair, and scales.

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947277-09-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Both an entertaining spin on back-to-school jitters and an unusual look at service dogs

BONAPARTE FALLS APART

An elementary-age skeleton is afraid he won’t be able to maintain structural integrity at school.

Bonaparte, a friendly-looking skeleton with an oversized skull and red ball cap, has a problem: he just can’t keep it together—literally. Even such an apparently low-impact activity as a visit to the doctor results in a lost limb when his reflexes are tested. Worse than the inconvenience is the fact that it is sometimes very hard to find those lost bits. Bonaparte asks his pals for help. Franky Stein tries to bolt and glue him together, but he’s too stiff to walk. Blacky Widow spins a web around him, but then he’s hopelessly tangled. Mummicula wraps him securely, but then Bonaparte can’t see. But when his friends spy a dog running by with a bone in his mouth, they realize he can be trained to retrieve Bonaparte’s fallen parts. Mandible proves to be both an invaluable help and a hit with all the kids. Terry’s illustrations feature frankly adorable monsters, large heads and eyes combining with very small mouths to make them look as harmless and childlike as possible (though Blacky Widow’s fangs are still rather prominent). He positions his characters in vignettes on white space; when more-complicated backgrounds are introduced, they are rendered in muted colors.

Both an entertaining spin on back-to-school jitters and an unusual look at service dogs . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93768-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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