One after another, the prisoners are brought before the judge, crying ""A horrible thing is coming this way./ Creeping closer day by day./ Its eyes are scary/ Its tail is hairy/ I tell you, Judge, we all better pray!"" And one by one each is condemned as a liar, a half-wit, a scoundrel, a nincompoop. . . until talking ceases and justice is done: a ""horrible thing"" looks in the window, comes in the door, snaps up the judge. . . and gives the prisoners the freedom of the last page. The wordless resolution is a savvy use of Sendak, the text is a self-?propellant that kids will say in unison, the pictures bristle and tremble with the protagonists--it couldn't be more assured or sure to succeed.