Still, for beginning readers yearning for fantastic alternatives in their reading fare, these will hit the spot.

READ REVIEW

THE FEATHERED OGRE

From the Monster Stories series , Vol. 1

The first of four books that comprise a new series of folktales for emerging readers.

Readers familiar with The Barefoot Book of Monsters will know these stories, though the tales are off the beaten track for most casual readers. Abridged from the 2003 collection, these new paperback volumes are for newly independent readers, with simpler language, ample font, plenty of bright acrylic illustrations and even a very easy speech bubble here and there to help children along. In this inaugural volume, the ailing king learns that "[o]nly a magic feather from the ogre's back can cure" him, so he offers a reward—his youngest daughter's hand in marriage and half the kingdom—to whoever brings him the magic feather. In the great commoner-makes-good tradition, gardener Pirolo sets off on the quest (despite his distaste for the Princess). With a little assistance and some trickery, he succeeds, in an adventure that emphasizes laughs over chills. Other books in the series include The Mother of Monsters, The Abominable Snowman and The Terrible Chenoo. Because each story has the same style of illustration, it’s hard to visually differentiate the settings—the people all look the same except for their skin tone. Luckily, each monster is quite different from the others, and it’s the monsters that will captivate the attention. Though the copyright page holds some information about the origins of the particular stories, more complete backmatter would have helped place these lesser-known tales in better context for these new readers who will be meeting these beasts for the first time. A short bibliography of related stories would also have added much to this repackaging.

Still, for beginning readers yearning for fantastic alternatives in their reading fare, these will hit the spot. (Early reader/folktale. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84686-562-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Returning fans will be happy to see their friends, but this outing's unlikely to win them new ones.

BOA CONSTRUCTOR

From the The Binder of Doom series , Vol. 2

In the second installment of the Binder of Doom series, readers will reconnect with Alexander Bopp, who leads the Super Secret Monster Patrol, a group of mutant children who protect the citizens of their beloved town of Stermont.

His friends Nikki and Rip rejoin him to add new monsters and adventures to their ever growing binder of monsters. As in series opener Brute-Cake (2019), Alexander and his friends attend the local library’s summer program, this time for “maker-camp.” They are assigned a Maker Challenge, in which each camper is to “make a machine that performs a helpful task”; meanwhile, mechanical equipment is being stolen all over Stermont. Unfortunately, the pacing and focus of the book hop all over the place. The titular boa constructor (a two-headed maker-minded snake and the culprit behind the thefts) is but one of many monsters introduced here, appearing more than two-thirds of the way through the story—just after the Machine Share-Time concludes the maker-camp plotline. (Rip’s “most dangerous” invention does come in handy at the climax.) The grayscale illustrations add visuals that will keep early readers engaged despite the erratic storyline; they depict Alexander with dark skin and puffy hair and Nikki and Rip with light skin. Monster trading cards are interleaved with the story.

Returning fans will be happy to see their friends, but this outing's unlikely to win them new ones. (Paranormal adventure. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-31469-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone.

HOW I MET MY MONSTER

From the I Need My Monster series

In a tardy prequel to I Need My Monster (2009), candidates for that coveted spot under the bed audition.

As the distressingly unflappable young narrator looks on, one monster after another gives it a go—but even with three mouths, the best roar Genghis can manage is a puny “blurp!”, silly shadow puppets by shaggy Morgan elicit only a sneeze, and red Abigail’s attempt to startle by hiding in the fridge merely leaves her shivering and pathetic. Fortunately, there’s Gabe, who knows just how to turn big and hairy while lurking outside the bathroom and whose red-eyed stare and gross drooling sends the lad scrambling into bed to save his toes. “Kid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” the toothy terror growls. Right he is, the lad concludes, snuggling down beneath the covers: “His snorts and ooze were perfect.” As usual, the white-presenting child’s big, bright, smiling face and the assortment of bumbling monsters rendered in oversaturated hues keep any actual scariness at tentacle’s length. Moreover, Monster, Inc. fans will delight in McWilliam’s painstaking details of fang, claw, hair, and scales.

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947277-09-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more