A parent monster tells a child just how much little monster is loved.
The little monster’s insecurity is provoked after the parent states “I LOVE nothing more / than a midnight romp / while I chase wild skink / through the dark, stinky swamp.” The deflated posture and dismayed expression of the child say it all. “Do you love me as much / as the SKINK that you chase / or the SMELL of the swamp / or the BEASTS in this place?” The parent’s reassurance occupies the rest of the book; its love for its child is greater than its affection for bloodsucking ducks, mummified bass, and toe-biting stones—even for two two-headed bears. The duo’s travels through the swamp end at their cozy home with the child tucked in bed, surrounded by (mostly!) stuffed versions of all the creatures from previous pages. The digital illustrations delight in ick and spook, the dark backgrounds contrasting nicely with the pops of color from the creatures the pair meet. The parent and child are green and pink respectively, with orange horns, green fluffy tails, and mops of green hair. While the jacket flap indicates that this is Papa and child, nothing in the text or illustrations indicates gender for either.Perfect for those parents who are sick of the treacly “how much do I love you” books and who want something with a little more ick. (Picture book. 4-7)