SOCKSQUATCH

Socksquatch is a creature of few words—“Got sock?” nearly exhausts his vocabulary—but of commanding presence: hairy barrel of a body, with striped antlers coming out of his block head, and primitive, very primitive. One of his socks has gone missing, as socks will do, and Socksquatch is in the market for a replacement. The tale introduces a few friends—Wayne (werewolf), Frank (enstein) and Martin (mummy)—to each of whom Dormer gives a comical twist and to each of whom Socksquatch puts the question: Got sock? Both the narrative and the setting—a medieval castle—are minimal elements in the book, so all expectations fall at the feet of the monsters, and they do not disappoint. They are drawn with a childlike hand, their menace muted, their arms outstretched in classic Boris Karloff mode. Even though their appearances are brief, they express enough character to make young readers wish to hold them dear, and they are ready to give Socksquatch the socks off their feet in the kind of spontaneous generosity that all little monsters need to cultivate. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8952-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy.

THE LITTLE GHOST WHO LOST HER BOO!

What can a ghost do when she’s lost her boo?

Little Ghost has a dilemma. Attempting to frighten an unsuspecting human (who presents White), she finds to her dismay that, instead of her signature sound, only “a rush of cold air” escapes her mouth. Mama Ghost sympathizes but fears her child’s “fright nights are done.” Not one to give up easily, Little Ghost launches a search. She encounters her friends Owl, Pigeon, and Rooster, whose sounds are all similar to “Boo”; unable to join Little Ghost in her search for her boo, they offer to lend her their cries. She declines, explaining that, while the calls are perfect for them, they aren’t as scary as hers. She finally heads home, despondent, and meets another pal whose voice resembles her own. In an unexpected concluding twist, Little Ghost locates the friend she most needs, the one who will assuredly help reclaim her boo-tiful sound. This cute but thin rhyming New Zealand import will appeal to ghost fans; they’ll definitely want to comply—loudly—with the final instruction. The jaunty rhyming couplets mostly succeed but are sometimes awkward. Illustrations and white text type pop against saturated turquoise backgrounds. Occasionally, certain words and onomatopoeic sounds, such as the animals’ calls, are capitalized and appear in display type for dramatic effect. Chubby Little Ghost is amorphous, winsome, and wide eyed. Her pals have a bright, folk art–y appearance.

In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20215-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required.

MONSTER TROUBLE!

How do you deal with an infestation of monsters?

“Winifred Schnitzel was never afraid. / Not of monsters or ghouls or the noises they made.” In fact, young Winifred loves pirates and werewolves and scary movies. This doesn’t stop monsters of all shapes and sizes from trying to scare her, but all of their growling and snarling and menacing is for naught, as Winifred thinks monsters are cute. However, their nightly visits are keeping her awake, so she buys a book (Monsters Beware!) for monster-trapping ideas. The sticky-string trap doesn’t work, and neither does the stinky cheese (they just eat it). She’s so pooped she sleeps through ballet class. Next, she makes every trap in her monster book, and that tuckers her out to such an extent that she’s already snoring when the monsters arrive the next night. She wakes groggily from a dream of kissing puppies and accidentally kisses a monster on the schnozzle—thus discovering every monster’s weakness. Now she dismisses each monster with a kiss and sleeps very well every night. Fredrickson’s jauntily rhyming tale of brave, African-American Winifred is an excellent balm to monster fears. Robertson’s googly-eyed monsters of all shapes and sizes are cartoon-adorable, with just a hint of toothy, clawed ferocity.

A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1345-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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