WANDA'S MONSTER by Eileen Spinelli


Age Range: 5 - 8
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A wonderfully insouciant approach to taking care of those pesky critters that lurk in closets. When Wanda cowers in fear of the monster she's sure inhabits her closet, her family tries the traditional methods of allaying her fears. Yet Dad shines a light inside, Mom does a thorough cleaning, and her older brother scoffs at her concerns, to no avail. It's Granny who helps Wanda see things in a different light. Granny believes there just might be a monster hiding inside Wanda's closet and she cautions her to feel sympathy instead of fear for the poor little guy; after all, she reveals, monsters are notoriously shy. Granny's unique perspective enables Wanda to overcome her worries. Soon she's tossing toys, pillows, and other creature comforts into the closet for her resident monster. When it's time for the monster to move on—Granny advises they only stay for 17 days—Wanda is ready, too. Spinelli (Here Comes the Year, p. 265, etc.) addresses a common childhood dilemma with panache and wit. Fearful closet-phobes will soon be longing for a monster of their own to pamper. Hayashi's (What Did You Do Today, p. 486, etc.) watercolor-and-pencil illustrations strike just the right balance between pragmatism and whimsy. Vibrantly colored vignettes depicting familiar domestic scenes are juxtaposed with delightfully quirky depictions of a purple, horned, long-nosed, and rather pitiful-looking monster sequestered in the closet. A must for chasing away those nighttime jitters with a hearty dose of giggles. (Picture book. 5-8)

ISBN: 0807586560
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman