What starts as one little monster on a child’s windowsill quickly gets out of hand.
To give credit where it’s due, the child handles the situation with remarkable self-possession. “I’m cozy in bed, and what do I see? // 1 little monster staring at me. / I say to myself, / What harm could it do? / I only blinked once… // But now I see 2!” Page turn by page turn, the monsters continue to add up, gross-out humor arriving with No. 3, a green, mucous-y one sneezed out of monster No. 2, and with No. 5: “One cuts the cheese.” But when the count reaches 10, the monsters have a new look in their eyes and postures: fear. This 10th creature is different from the others, lacking the clean, sharp lines of the rest. In fact, it looks distinctly like a sock puppet with drawn-on, staring eyes and scowling mouth. The clever child gets to enjoy that cozy bed at last…at least until monsters populate dreamland. The bold, simple shapes and bright colors of Gonyea’s digital illustrations are clear when the monsters are few and obviously, uh, monster-shaped. But as the pages fill with oddly shaped blobs, some of which lack even facial features, it becomes increasingly difficult to parse the illustrations, especially when they are close-ups.
Would that all children could greet their own monsters with this much aplomb. (Picture book. 4-8)