Interesting how being yourself is championed, yet at the same time, most kids are keenly aware of the pressure to fit in and not be too different. In this slim title, Milgrim pairs his brief text with hilarious illustrations to celebrate a charmingly diverse group of monsters.
Digital ink and pastels brighten the pages featuring creatures in a wide range of tropical hues popping against stark white backgrounds. Opposing traits are contrasted, but each is portrayed with humor and respect. “Some monsters are afraid” shows a large, pink, polka-dot monster clutching its tail and shouting “Aggggggggggh!” at the sight of a small, green worm. The following spread—“Some are not”—depicts a blue-and-purple, toddlerlike, snaggletoothed tyke smiling as it holds the worm in its hand. “Some monsters will eat anything” zooms in on a table filled with platters full of striped beetles and other squirmy, prickly foods about to be devoured by a lip-licking character. But turn the page, and both children and their parents will relate to the small monster taking a bare nibble off the tip of a pizza slice that has been plucked clean of any spice or extra topping: “Some are picky.” Whether monsters (or people) are talkative or quiet, love to dance or just watch, like it outside or prefer staying inside, all “are absolutely, positively, completely, perfectly wonderful… / just the way they are!”
In less-skillful hands this offering would come across as saccharine, but Milgrim pulls it off with witty aplomb. Share with a pack of monsters to spark conversations about individuality. (Picture book. 3-6)