A blatantly psychotherapeutic variation on Where the Wild Things Are and like empowerment fare.
An invisible narrator addresses young children: “Don’t be scared! You are in charge of the monsters. If you tell them how to behave, they will listen.” Depicting externalization in action, Marshall crowds each busily colored and patterned spread with mildly scary cartoon cousins of Ed Emberley’s Big Green Monster. They are all acting out or being selfish, mean or grumpy, but they are quickly brought into line with a corrective command like “Be quiet!”; “Sit still!”; or “Take turns!” Whether such direct orders will be more effective in real life coming from a child’s mouth than an irritated caregiver’s is anybody’s guess, but children (and, for that matter, parents) may derive some satisfaction from at least the pretense of authority that is offered here.
“If a monster is tired and grumpy, send it to bed and say, ‘GO TO SLEEP!’ ” Like that would work. (Picture book. 3-5)