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by Denis Markell & illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4195-8
Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

This husband-and-wife team tries their hand at a ghoulish version of a popular lullaby.

Little Monster is not happy. Daddy Monster wants to make him feel better, and so begins an odd lullaby that attempts to soothe, humor or, at the very least, distract the young creature from his foul mood. For the most part the text scans as the father sings, “Hush, Little Monster, don’t you howl. / Daddy’s gonna give you a… / screeching owl. / If that owl won’t say ‘whoo whoo’… / Granny Ghost will bring you a big, bad boo!” If Granny Ghost disappoints, a biting vampire, shedding wolfman, magic broom, sneezing ogre and invading zombies arrive on the scene, their antics continuing the rhyming song. Eventually Little Monster’s temper improves as all end up in the graveyard to play. Illustrations in saturated colors—many greens, yellows and reds—both evoke Goodnight Moon and portray the raucous action, and the small trim invites intimate exploration. Still, the book has a necessarily ephemeral feel—it is just a seasonal bagatelle.

Even though Little Monster eventually quiets down for a cozy night’s sleep, this interpretation isn't the sweetest version in town. (Picture book. 3-5)