His busy parents answer ""Not now, Bernard,"" when Bernard tries to tell them there's a monster in the garden. And so, without interference, ""the monster ate Bernard up, every bit""--and the preoccupied parents continue to brush him oft with ""Not now, Bernard."" Suitably, MeKee's mod monster is a bright purple and the colors in general (including those of Bernard's father's face) axe as violent as Bernard's fantasy. Kids should recognize the truth in McKee's harsh little joke, but it's hard to say whether they will relate to the story. Despite the torrid colors, it is not a warm book.