This superficial attempt to allay a childhood fear fails to provide either comfort for those in need or satisfaction for monster-book gourmands. The very brief text describes a 19th-century society wherein monsters worked, played and lived alongside people; if you met one on the street, you were supposed to say, ""Hello, monster,"" and keep walking. Today, for unexplained reasons, there are not many monsters. Those that are left come to your house at night and make odd noises, so don't be anxious, even if one walks into your room. The breezy tone carries over to Brown's bland illustrations; unscary, slightly crocodilian monsters, bearing fixed, idiotic smiles, are all portrayed as awkward imitations of their human neighbors, incapable of holding a football or a baseball bat correctly, largely relegated to menial tasks. Other picture books on the subject treat their audience with more respect; even the achingly sweet Clyde Monster (Crowe, Dutton, 1976) doesn't trivialize a child's fears.