A well-told tale of nighttime collywobbles, suitable for framing.

YETI, TURN OUT THE LIGHT!

When a yeti gets a case of the heebie-jeebies, then something clearly is amiss.

Readers meet Long and Edmundson’s Yeti, a yeti, as the day draws to a close. He heads to his cave, has some spaghetti and meatballs, flosses and hits the sack. But Yeti can’t sleep, as shadows lurk, “dart[ing] frightfully near! // They dance up the wall, / and, my, are they scary! / Oh, what could they be? / Yeti is wary....” Yeti flicks on the light. Three jewel-eyed bunnies stand there. The rabbits join Yeti in bed, off goes the light, and back come the shadows. This goes on as Yeti discovers a horde of his pals come to visit, until he shoos them to their respective beds and finally gets some shut-eye. This is a gentle and empathetic approach to the bedtime skitters, with a good and clear explanation for something that bedevils most kids when there is just enough light to conjure those creepy shadows. Kirwan’s artwork is not just luscious, but also smart and inviting in style, the matte colors effectively evoking scary shadows as well as laughably nonthreatening friends once the light is on.

A well-told tale of nighttime collywobbles, suitable for framing. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1158-2

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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A metafictive treat.

I WILL CHOMP YOU!

Never mind a monster at the end, there’s a monster all the way through this book!

Starting on Page 1, the protagonist monster uses direct address to warn readers not to turn any pages. The book’s very title reveals the threat behind this warning, and Shea’s toothy monster—all mouth and head and bluster—seems ready to follow through with it. Disobeying the command provokes metafictive peril as warnings to readers persist, and various small creatures depicted on the page (a bird, a frog, and a wee bunny) flee its chomping jaws. The monster misses both them and disobedient readers, growing increasingly angry. Clever illustration choices make it seem as though the monster has chomped through the pages of the book, and soon its commands devolve into pleading. Why? “It’s because I have all my cakes back here, at the end of the book,” the greedy monster explains. In a fiendish ploy to trick readers, the monster offers to share, saying, “just come a little closer…” and a page turn reveals (yet another) “CHOMP!” Defeated, the monster resigns itself to readers’ progress toward the end of the book, and it chomps up all the cakes, leaving it with the just deserts of a bellyache. Throughout, Shea’s vibrant, silly pictures diminish the scariness of the story’s premise and deliver humorous characterization.

A metafictive treat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38986-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A humorous, somewhat unoriginal offering—for kids who prefer monsters to dinosaurs.

EVEN MONSTERS...

Who says monsters can only be frightful?

Although monsters roar, snarl, grumble, growl and howl, Smith’s playful text asserts that they also know how to behave. The text’s cheeky humor is immediately apparent as the tasks the little monsters carry out involve putting on clean underwear and combing cooties out of their fur. Illustrations extend the text about eating a “well-rounded breakfast” by depicting a box of “Swamp Munch Cereal” with “Free Bugs Inside” alongside a carton of “Mantis Milk.” Such playful intraiconic work affirms the interdependence of art and text, but the occasional indistinctness of the art and the sometimes-cluttered layout of the pages undermine the overall cohesion of the work as a whole. Furthermore, readers familiar with Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs… series may find that this title cuts a bit too close to the line between similar and derivative in its execution.

A humorous, somewhat unoriginal offering—for kids who prefer monsters to dinosaurs. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4022-8652-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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