This full-of-loathing story is a welcome twist on the often saccharine how-much-do-you-love-me genre.
Slonim substitutes the word “loathe” for “love” and truly runs with it. His characters are two amiable horned monsters. The younger orange one quizzes the older and bigger creature about its true feelings. Just how much does it really loathe the little one? The rhyming text rollicks along: “I loathe you more than chicken pox, / more than stinky, sweaty socks. / More than garbage in a dump, / or splinters sticking in my rump. / Mosquito bites? I loathe them, yes, / But next to you, a whole lot less.” As the monsters sling increasingly gross and endearingly disgusting claims of loathsomeness, readers will alternately screech with “ewws” and laughter as they pore over the hilarious cartoon illustrations executed in acrylics with charcoal. At one point the monster child becomes a little quiet and wonders, “But what if I goof up someday, / or if my warts all fade away? / If I blurt out ‘THANKS,’ or ‘PLEASE’? / Or take a bath and kill my fleas? / If I should slip and just obey / then would your loathing go away?” Of course, the grown monster reassures his young one, as all good parents do. “Nice or nasty, kind or mean, / I loathe you up, down, and between.”
Share this silly and satisfying title with all little monsters. (Picture book. 3-6)