Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where...

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BEDTIME FOR MONSTERS

“Do YOU ever WONDER if somewhere, not too far away, there might be… / MONSTERS?” Whether readers do or not, it is hard to resist being swept up in the silly suspense of possibly becoming the target for this monster’s hungry attention.

A pea green, neon-pink–horned creature with big, white eyes and a wide-open mouth with yellow stubs of teeth comes off as more ridiculous than terrifying. But the language warns of his impending approach through pointed questions: “And as he crosses the gloopy, schloopy swamp…do you think he’s imagining just HOW GOOD you’ll taste all covered in ketchup?” Vere strikes the perfect balance of humor and thrills—so much so that readers may not know if they should be shaking with fear or laughter as the story progresses. After the monster happily rides his red bicycle through the “dark and terrible forest,” “tiptoes through thorns and thistles” and “climbs up the cold and snowy mountains,” getting ever closer, he arrives in town, creaks up the stairs and “opens your bedroom door” because “THIS monster wants… / a disgustingly sloppy GOODNIGHT KISS!”

Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where all can have fun participating in the hilarious sound effects. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9509-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun.

CLOTHESLINE CLUES TO JOBS PEOPLE DO

From the Clothesline Clues series

Heling and Hembrook’s clever conceit challenges children to analyze a small town’s clotheslines to guess the job each of their owners does. 

Close-up on the clothesline: “Uniform and cap, / an invite for you. / Big bag of letters. / What job does she do?” A turn of the page reveals a macro view of the home, van and the woman doing her job, “She is a mail carrier.” Indeed, she can be spotted throughout the book delivering invitations to all the rest of the characters, who gather at the end for a “Launch Party.” The verses’ rhymes are spot-on, though the rhythm falters a couple of times. The authors nicely mix up the gender stereotypes often associated with several of these occupations, making the carpenter, firefighter and astronaut women. But while Davies keeps uniforms and props pretty neutral (he even avoids U.S. mail symbols), he keeps to the stereotypes that allow young readers to easily identify occupations—the farmer chews on a stalk of wheat; the beret-wearing artist sports a curly mustache. A subdued palette and plain white backgrounds keep kids’ focus on the clothing clues. Still, there are plenty of details to absorb—the cat with arched back that anticipates a spray of water, the firefighter who “lights” the rocket.

Pair this with Leo Timmers’ Who Is Driving? (2007) for twice the guessing fun. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58089-251-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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THE GRUFFALO

The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2386-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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