A little girl becomes “the silly monster” after she returns oversugared and overexcited from a birthday party.
In this board book, Tilly returns from a birthday party, bag of candy in hand, and becomes the titular monster—illustrated with corresponding illustrations of a red monster with blue spots—jumping on the couch and bugging her brother. Her father’s intervention turns the monster back into Tilly with some quiet time. Adult readers will be familiar with this “silly monster” that often overtakes their child, and children may be familiar with the feelings of post-party mania. What’s lacking in Bucknell’s text, however, is a mechanism to help young readers understand and own these feelings. The book ends with Tilly’s unrealistic promise to her father that the silly monster won’t ever return again rather than a reinforcement of the calming practices she’ll use the next time she turns into the monster, because readers certainly know she will. Seal’s cutesy illustrations appear on stark white backgrounds, and while they do include some nice details, they do little to invite readers to linger on pages. Tilly has pale skin and dirty-blonde hair, while her father has light-brown skin and brown hair. Simultaneously publishing titles feature the lazy, sleepy, and hungry monsters and follow the same concept and structure: A child overcome by a “monster” is guided back by a parent.
Uninspired illustrations and an unrealistic conclusion make this one to pass on. (Board book. 2-4)