Rules are meant to be followed, but when monsters threaten to eat your sister, a little transgression might be in order.
The old mountain cabin where self-righteous Ian and his savage pincher of a big sister, Jenny, come for a stay has four posted rules: don’t track mud on the bearskin rug; don’t leave hair in the tub drain; replace any wood burned in the stove; and especially, don’t open a certain red door. No problem for Ian, a rule follower to the nth degree…but Jenny is a poster child for mutinous, ill-tempered preadolescence, and in no time she’s broken all four. That night she’s snatched out of bed by a toothy bear, a frowning tub, and a cast iron stove with jack-o’-lantern eyes to be boiled up into “rulebreaker soup.” Just deserts, you say? So thinks Ian, at first. But he stops in his headlong flight to reflect that even if there isn’t a rule about always saving one’s sister from monsters, maybe there should be. Ian returns to compromise his principles with a little fib about a bigger monster that sends the three animated furnishings hustling back through the red door. Along with comically exaggerating the contrast between the red-haired, annoyingly tidy lad and his scowling sib, Myers pitches the two white kids against a trio of deliciously menacing boojums in atmospherically moonlit rustic settings. Jenny isn’t exactly reformed afterward, but at least her pinches aren’t as painful.
Readers will (probably) agree that even the most irritating siblings don’t deserve to be cooked and eaten. As a rule. (Picture book. 6-8)