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

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fun enough once through, but not much more.

THE SPAGHETTI-SLURPING SEWER SERPENT

A pint-sized sleuth tracks a purple underground monster.

When Mom scrapes the family's uneaten spaghetti into the sink, young Sammy Sanders hears strange slurping sounds. He becomes "77 percent convinced" that a spaghetti-slurping serpent lives in his sewer, and can't get to sleep. The next morning, Sammy and his little sister Sally investigate. There are meatballs and strands of limp spaghetti around the manhole cover! Sammy, whose round glasses make the whites of his eyes look as enormous as an owl's, can barely contain his excitement. After he removes the cover, Sally slips on some sauce and lands in the sewer, becoming a smelly sludgy mess. Sammy's left to investigate alone and comes up with a brilliant idea. Late that night, he sneaks out of the house with a salty snack for himself and a bowl of spaghetti for the serpent. But he falls asleep, and the huge serpent slithers up to the scrumptious spaghetti. Slurping sounds startle Sammy awake; he's face-to-face with the monster. There's just one thing to do: Share! Sammy' salty snack earns him a friend for life. And that night, he sleeps soundly, 100% sure that there's a serpent in his sewer. Zenz's illustrations, in Prismacolor colored pencil, look generic, but Ripes' yarn has pace and phonetic crackle.

Fun enough once through, but not much more.    (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7614-6101-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: Feb. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses...

BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, STRONG LITTLE ME!

This tan-skinned, freckle-faced narrator extols her own virtues while describing the challenges of being of mixed race.

Protagonist Lilly appears on the cover, and her voluminous curly, twirly hair fills the image. Throughout the rhyming narrative, accompanied by cartoonish digital illustrations, Lilly brags on her dark skin (that isn’t very), “frizzy, wild” hair, eyebrows, intellect, and more. Her five friends present black, Asian, white (one blonde, one redheaded), and brown (this last uses a wheelchair). This array smacks of tokenism, since the protagonist focuses only on self-promotion, leaving no room for the friends’ character development. Lilly describes how hurtful racial microaggressions can be by recalling questions others ask her like “What are you?” She remains resilient and says that even though her skin and hair make her different, “the way that I look / Is not all I’m about.” But she spends so much time talking about her appearance that this may be hard for readers to believe. The rhyming verse that conveys her self-celebration is often clumsy and forced, resulting in a poorly written, plotless story for which the internal illustrations fall far short of the quality of the cover image.

Mixed-race children certainly deserve mirror books, but they also deserve excellent text and illustrations. This one misses the mark on both counts. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63233-170-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eifrig

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more