A MONSTER IN THE HOUSE by Elisa Kleven

A MONSTER IN THE HOUSE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Kleven (The Puddle Pail, 1997, etc.) offers up a kid’s-eye perspective on the amazing tumult created by a baby in the house. A young girl regales her new neighbor, who is wearing his favorite monster suit, with tales of the monster that resides in her home. Her stories of a food-guzzling, attention-demanding, mess-making creature liberate the boy’s imagination, reflected in the illustrations. Kleven adeptly magnifies the chaotic qualities of babies to a comical degree; as the true nature of the monster is revealed, as well as the girl’s affection for him, the boy’s imaginings of a formidable beast gradually evolve into the picture of small, smiling baby monster. Patches of text, appearing at angles and in different colors to represent the various speakers, successfully convey the rhythm of conversation. The scenes are busy and invite discovery: a monster mobile above the crib, the “Vitamin M monster milk, certified impure,” and the “Monster Muck Remover” for diaper changes. The vivid drawings are overlaid with a variety of collage materials, such as yarn hair for the monster’s body, bits of doilies for curtains, marbled paper for wood veneers. A wondrously silly tall tale with grandly domestic origins; expect laughter as readers grasp the truth of the monster’s identity. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-525-45973-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1998




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