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From the Monster & Me series

by Paul Czajak ; illustrated by Wendy Grieb

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-938063-09-1
Publisher: Scarletta Press

What to wear for trick-or-treating? The perennial dilemma stumps Monster, who takes costume suggestions from a helpful boy, who narrates this rhyming tale.

Czajack tells the story in rollicking verse that propels readers through a trial-and-error process. Grieb’s Monster is an oversized fellow with yellow striped horns, a significant underbite and a generous tuft of purplish hair. Accommodating such a figure, with his big feet and long tail, is a challenge. The boy throws out many ideas. “I said to Monster, ‘Do you know what kind you’d want to wear?’ / An astronaut? A fireman? / A giant Bartlett pear?” But Monster changes his mind quite a bit, first wanting to be a cowboy, then a ballerina and then a ninja. When Monster imagines what he will look like in these costumes, the illustrator switches to black-and-white images. Kids will grin at the huge 20-gallon hat, the exhausting dance moves and Monster’s complete incompetence at stealth. Disheartened, Monster mopes and then has a brilliant idea moments before the pals set off to go trick-or-treating. The mash-up of the previous costumes recalls a solution many a young reader would make and results in a most successful Halloween night.

Given the jaunty flow of the story and the humorous details on every page, put this at the top of the list for unscary options come October. (Picture book. 3-6)