THE MONSTER WHO ATE DARKNESS

Though bedroom monsters are a dime a dozen, this one’s a bit different. Looking like a black wombat with a bright-red clown nose, the Creature that lurks under wakeful young Jo-Jo’s bed is but the size of an ant. A hungry one, however, who starts absorbing all the darkness it can find. Going the “Fat Cat” route, the monster proceeds to swell as it sucks the dark not just from the bedroom but from the entire world and beyond—leaving confusion and dismay in its wake, until “There were no shadows and hardly any dreams. There was only the light. The stark and staring light.” Liao, a popular Taiwanese illustrator, creates polished, sometimes wordless cartoon scenes featuring a monster whose only scary characteristic is its eventual humongous size. Ultimately Jo-Jo’s tears draw the behemoth back to Earth, where a cuddle and a “darkness lullaby” puts them both to sleep and allows all the darkness to leach back into the universe. Not exactly entropy in action, but a cozy, if lengthy, bedtime tale nonetheless. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3859-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches...

TRASHY TOWN

Listeners will quickly take up the percussive chorus—“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy town! Is the trash truck full yet? NO”—as they follow burly Mr. Gilly, the garbage collector, on his rounds from park to pizza parlor and beyond.

Flinging cans and baskets around with ease, Mr. Gilly dances happily through streetscapes depicted with loud colors and large, blocky shapes; after a climactic visit to the dump, he roars home for a sudsy bath.

Part of a spate of books intent on bringing the garbage collectors in children’s lives a little closer, this almost matches Eve Merriam’s Bam Bam Bam (1995), also illustrated by Yaccarino, for sheer verbal and visual volume. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 1999

ISBN: 0-06-027139-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ALL BY MYSELF!

Essentially a follow-up to Robert Kraus’s Leo the Late Bloomer (1971) and like tales of developing competency, this follows an exuberant child from morning wash-up to lights out at night, cataloguing the tasks and skills he has mastered. Activities include dressing himself and joining in school activities, choosing his own books, helping with dinner and other household responsibilities, and taking a bath alone before bedtime. In Aliki’s sunny, simplified pictures, it’s a child’s world, seen from low angles and with adults putting in only occasional appearances. Like the lad, the fitfully rhymed text gallops along, sometimes a little too quickly—many illustrations are matched to just a word or two, so viewers aren’t always given much time to absorb one image before being urged on to the next—but underscoring the story’s bustling energy. Young readers and pre-readers will respond enthusiastically to this child’s proud self-assurance, and be prompted to take stock of their own abilities too. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-028929-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more