When Marisol McDonald hears a bump in the night, her imagination goes wild, making her certain there must be a monster beneath her bed.
As Marisol explores her fright, she is surrounded by a loving and supportive family. Her parents both reassure her she is safe and provide her the necessary independence to face her fear. After several sleepless nights, Marisol applies her signature pluck to the monster situation, finding a creative way to confront her anxiety head on. Palacios’ mixed-media illustrations temper Marisol’s jitters with whimsy, keeping the imagery on the light side of scary. One drawback to the text is that the effort to emphasize various words that begin with the letter “m” in both English and Spanish strays into didacticism, though the “m” words selected do display great care both from Brown and translator Dominguez, which lovers of words will appreciate. Marisol’s mixed Peruvian and Scottish-American heritage is, as always, a vibrant part of who she is, but cultural identity is not the focus of this work. Marisol is a confident, bicultural girl who brings all parts of herself to the table to overcome a very common worry faced by children the world over.
Marvelously mismatched Marisol McDonald brings her unique perspective to the exploration of the universal topic of fear. (author's note, bilingual glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)