A reassuring message wrapped in rib-tickling humor.

READ REVIEW

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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I AM NOT GOING TO GET UP TODAY!

After an eight-year interval, a Beginner Book by this well-loved originator of the series is welcome; and since Seuss hasn't chosen to illustrate it himself, we are lucky to have Stevenson as alternate. In the familiar Seuss pattern of a simple premise exaggerated to comic effect, a boy declares, "My bed is warm. My pillow's deep. Today's the day I'm going to sleep"—regardless of his mother, various arguments, successive waves of reinforcements, including the Marines, and a TV crew filming the momentous event. Actually, the development of the idea is a little tame compared with Seuss' other extravaganzas (and such determined all-day slumber is more the province of teen-agers and the good doctor's contemporaries than of readers at this level); but the book is delightfully enlivened by Stevenson's vigorous illustrations, which considerably augment the text by showing the full extent of the consternation caused by the hero's stubborness. Though there is plenty of the repetition required by learning readers, there are also some unusual words like Memphis, suggesting that this is not the easiest easy reader; but it has enough appeal to keep beginners entertained.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1987

ISBN: 0394892178

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1987

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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