This brief lullaby-story provides just-right toddler-sized chills.
The action begins at 3:00 as school lets out. Yolen describes it all in rhyme with spare sentences and phrases: “Monsters creep, / Monsters crawl // Over the meadow / And up the wall.” Murphy chooses a muted palette to illustrate the motley bunch of innocuous creatures sporting a horn or two, various numbers of eyes, an occasional tail or tufts of fur. Preschool monster fans are sure to pore over and giggle at Murphy’s droll, detailed paintings executed in a mix of oil, acrylic and gel. They will also easily relate to the depicted routine of coming home, eating dinner, taking a bath and getting into bed, and they will be charmed rather than spooked as the text’s gentle cadence begins to work a calming magic. But the monsters show a last burst of energy—of course—as they “toss and turn and bounce” before finally snuggling in for the night. Silly going-to-sleep sounds such as “Growl / Gurgle / Burp” gently bring this soon-to-be popular book to an end.
There's plenty in this scary-sweet book to please children all year round. (Picture book. 2-4)