A monster looks for a snack.
Preschooler Pete is playing cars in his bedroom when a purple-furred, horned, and snaggle-toothed monster peers through the window. Pete invites the monster to play, but the monster’s intentions are made clear by the thought bubble hovering over his head: This monster wants to “EAT PETE!” Luckily for Pete, this monster is easily distracted and decides that “playing cars looked like fun.” Pete and the monster cheerfully race cars, play pirates, and build with blocks together; each time they switch activities, the monster first thinks about eating Pete and then decides to play. But this doesn’t last long: By the book’s middle, the monster does in fact eat Pete, the act presaged by a moment when the monster’s enormous, drooling face occupies the entire double-page spread just behind oblivious, smiling Pete. But after that? Playing alone is not so much fun. Rex smartly teases out the will-he, won’t-he just long enough for readers to assume it’ll never happen before shocking little ones with the deed. A happy ending awaits, but little readers will be briefly flabbergasted and quite giggly. Rex’s clean-lined cartoons are beautifully paced, the monster looming over the round-headed white boy and then pulling back again and again before a nearly wordless spread in which the monster sits, satisfied, one hand on his tummy before his final change of heart.
A silly and surprising picture book that will quickly join regular rotation. (Picture book. 2-4)