A reassuring message wrapped in rib-tickling humor.

MONSTERS ARE AFRAID OF BABIES

A little boy learns he has nothing to fear from monsters as long as his baby sister is around.

“Everybody knows” that “monsters are afraid of babies!” In this sweet, wacky picture book, motley, frightful monsters become scared when confronted by a boy’s baby sister. As her brother looks on, the googly-eyed, lumpy, toothy, horned beasts of various sizes, shapes, and colors observe his little sister with alarm as she toddles through the house making messes, causing chaos, and bringing the monsters to tears by outdoing their “sticky and icky” and “loud and stinky” ways. Using comedy to calm children’s nighttime fears of monsters in the closet or under the bed and to help them see their maddening, drooling little sibling in a new light, the work is one of a series of three books launching a new publishing imprint by writer, director, and musician Tana (The Kitten, the Cat & the Apple, 2019, etc.). The loosely rhyming text is large and well spaced, and young readers and lapsitters will enjoy repeating the funny sound effects peppered throughout the story (“ERGG…DROOOOO…GUBB”). The team of Abbott and Leutwyler (King of Glee, 2019), which pictures the boy and his sister with beige-ish skin and dark brown eyes and hair—in the baby’s case, just one little curl spiraling up from the top of her head—has great fun with the witty depictions of the sadly intimidated monsters.

A reassuring message wrapped in rib-tickling humor.

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-950033-00-3

Page Count: 26

Publisher: New Classics Pr Llc

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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