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by Ken Baker & illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028698-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Little monsters fear little girls and boys hiding in their rooms in this delightful parody of a nightly bedtime ritual. Albert’s mother has told him time and again that there are no such things as little girls and boys, but still Albert knows they are there. Little girls hide in the closet and drip ice cream on monster’s clothes before eating up the monster, and little boys hide under the bed quietly coloring, just waiting for little monsters to leave the bed so they can play piggie on their toes—before they eat them up. When calling his mother doesn’t give him any satisfaction, Albert tackles the menace himself with two unique and childlike solutions. But still he fears being eaten. In a final act of bravery, Albert settles his nighttime fears and is able to fall asleep, proud of his accomplishment. Newcomer Baker brings humor to a situation that often has children in tears and parents unable to cope. Just maybe Albert has given them some useful strategies, especially if making a rude noise seems like an acceptable solution. Hayes’s (Thump and Plunk, not reviewed, etc.) illustrations perfectly complement the text. Parents need not worry that Albert will invoke rather than allay fears—he is an adorable little monster, whose human-like emotions are plain on his face. While this is by no means the first of its kind—Jeanne Willis’s The Monster Bed (1987) is still the benchmark—it’s a great addition to the group of stories that puts monsters in the category of “things that fear you more than you fear them.” (Picture book. 3-7)