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A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required.

How do you deal with an infestation of monsters?

“Winifred Schnitzel was never afraid. / Not of monsters or ghouls or the noises they made.” In fact, young Winifred loves pirates and werewolves and scary movies. This doesn’t stop monsters of all shapes and sizes from trying to scare her, but all of their growling and snarling and menacing is for naught, as Winifred thinks monsters are cute. However, their nightly visits are keeping her awake, so she buys a book (Monsters Beware!) for monster-trapping ideas. The sticky-string trap doesn’t work, and neither does the stinky cheese (they just eat it). She’s so pooped she sleeps through ballet class. Next, she makes every trap in her monster book, and that tuckers her out to such an extent that she’s already snoring when the monsters arrive the next night. She wakes groggily from a dream of kissing puppies and accidentally kisses a monster on the schnozzle—thus discovering every monster’s weakness. Now she dismisses each monster with a kiss and sleeps very well every night. Fredrickson’s jauntily rhyming tale of brave, African-American Winifred is an excellent balm to monster fears. Robertson’s googly-eyed monsters of all shapes and sizes are cartoon-adorable, with just a hint of toothy, clawed ferocity.

A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1345-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Leave this on the shelf and take the kids outside to really move.

An interactive board book promises a variety of experiences.

A book that gets kids up and moving sounds like a great idea. The half-circle cutout of the spine and large handle formed by another die cut on the right side are intriguing. Unfortunately, the rhyming instructions for using the book as an exercise prop are confusing. Even adults will find themselves puzzled when told to “paddle the floor,” or to “hang on the handles. Step over the book. / You're a turtle in its shell! Go peek out and look.” The busy pictures shift perspective according to each scenario presented but give few visual clues. For example, the only hint of a dinosaur on the page where readers are told to “put this book to your mouth and let out a roar” like a dinosaur are the teeth that line the edges of what is meant to be a gaping maw. It’s not always obvious whether the book is meant to be facing readers or turned away from them, adding another layer of confusion. Furthermore, many of the instructions run counter to how young children are typically taught to treat books, as when they are told to step on it and then waddle or to lift it with their feet. The relatively thin board pages and weak handles will soon be torn by normal handling; following the directions in the text will only hasten the destruction.

Leave this on the shelf and take the kids outside to really move. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7611-8733-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Bravery at its best.

A tot prepares for bedtime—and the monsters that come with it.

Armed with a colander on her head, a trusty flashlight, and a map of the monsters’ favorite hiding spots, Emi is ready. She just needs to stay very quiet and wait for a monster to spring her trap. Unfortunately, her dog, Cookie, doesn’t understand the importance of stillness. Cookie bounds after a ball, leaving Emi to face the dark unknown and attempt a daring rescue. Sweeping her flashlight from room to room, Emi searches for Cookie. Fluffy, friendly-looking monsters cower in the shadows as she passes. Emi’s courage shines through in comic-style speech bubbles: “I’m not SCARED!” she declares, just in case the monsters are listening (they are). Muted blue surroundings show the monsters, who are just as afraid of Emi as she is of them. Luckily, they duck in time and are never caught in her flashlight’s beam. Goggle-eyed Emi is the epitome of determination. “There aren’t even ANY monsters here. So boring.” Rich illustrations offer well-timed guffaws and silliness. The plucky protagonist is light-skinned; the monsters—furry, horned, and spiky. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Bravery at its best. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-75565-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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