Czajak and Grieb (Monster Needs a Costume, 2013) pair up once again for a hilarious take on the many creative ways a monster attempts to avoid bedtime.
In rollicking rhyme, a young boy narrates the story of how he repeatedly tries to get Monster into bed. Readers will recognize some of their own delaying tactics, from asking to watch television to needing a snack and demanding a drink. But the boy is persistent in moving the nighttime activities along: “I brushed my teeth, he brushed his fangs. / We put our PJ’s on. // Then Monster went to grab his books… / ‘We’ll have a read-a-thon!’ ” The boy—employing many strategies that parents use—agrees to some requests, firmly moves the monster toward bed, and gives him love and comfort. But in a somewhat surprising turn, it is not just ending the day that Monster is avoiding—he’s afraid of the dark. The huge, cartoonish, gray-blue creature with tufty purple hair, long claws and striped horns comes across as a vulnerable softie as he hides under the covers and clutches a comically small monster doll. A night light is retrieved and sets “his room aglow. / Monster pulled his blanket down, and crawled out from below.” A final goodnight kiss allows the cuddly guy to finally fall asleep. Although the premise isn’t entirely original, young readers will appreciate seeing a child in charge of the situation and providing the solution.
Sure to be a welcome choice for the going-to-bed time that never seems to end. (Picture book. 3-6)