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THE MONSTER TRAP by Dean Morrissey Kirkus Star


by Dean Morrissey & illustrated by Dean Morrissey

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-052498-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

Mercer Mayer meets Rembrandt in the tenebrous, accomplished oils that illustrate this lad-meets-night-monsters tale. Mysterious noises in his grandpa’s seaside junk shop keep young Paddy awake, so Pop offers to make a monster trap. Two false starts later, Pop has whipped together a glorious assemblage of antique gears, belts, pulleys, gauges, tanks, wheels, horns, and handles—all rendered with photorealistic precision in a glorious climactic spread. It works like a charm, too: later that night, Paddy and Pop are amazed to find it festooned with odd-looking furry critters that resemble oversized hamster/rabbits decorated with miscellaneous junk-shop detritus. A midnight snack later, these anything-but-scary “monsters” are cuddling doggishly about a dazzled Paddy’s bed. Morrissey uses light and shadow expertly to add a feeling of mystery to each scene, but by the end, there are definitely no nightmares left in the closet. (Picture book. 6-8)