Sure to be a welcome choice for the going-to-bed time that never seems to end.



From the Monster & Me series

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)

Pub Date: April 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-938063-26-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scarletta Press

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required.


How do you deal with an infestation of monsters?

“Winifred Schnitzel was never afraid. / Not of monsters or ghouls or the noises they made.” In fact, young Winifred loves pirates and werewolves and scary movies. This doesn’t stop monsters of all shapes and sizes from trying to scare her, but all of their growling and snarling and menacing is for naught, as Winifred thinks monsters are cute. However, their nightly visits are keeping her awake, so she buys a book (Monsters Beware!) for monster-trapping ideas. The sticky-string trap doesn’t work, and neither does the stinky cheese (they just eat it). She’s so pooped she sleeps through ballet class. Next, she makes every trap in her monster book, and that tuckers her out to such an extent that she’s already snoring when the monsters arrive the next night. She wakes groggily from a dream of kissing puppies and accidentally kisses a monster on the schnozzle—thus discovering every monster’s weakness. Now she dismisses each monster with a kiss and sleeps very well every night. Fredrickson’s jauntily rhyming tale of brave, African-American Winifred is an excellent balm to monster fears. Robertson’s googly-eyed monsters of all shapes and sizes are cartoon-adorable, with just a hint of toothy, clawed ferocity.

A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1345-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A metafictive treat.


Never mind a monster at the end, there’s a monster all the way through this book!

Starting on Page 1, the protagonist monster uses direct address to warn readers not to turn any pages. The book’s very title reveals the threat behind this warning, and Shea’s toothy monster—all mouth and head and bluster—seems ready to follow through with it. Disobeying the command provokes metafictive peril as warnings to readers persist, and various small creatures depicted on the page (a bird, a frog, and a wee bunny) flee its chomping jaws. The monster misses both them and disobedient readers, growing increasingly angry. Clever illustration choices make it seem as though the monster has chomped through the pages of the book, and soon its commands devolve into pleading. Why? “It’s because I have all my cakes back here, at the end of the book,” the greedy monster explains. In a fiendish ploy to trick readers, the monster offers to share, saying, “just come a little closer…” and a page turn reveals (yet another) “CHOMP!” Defeated, the monster resigns itself to readers’ progress toward the end of the book, and it chomps up all the cakes, leaving it with the just deserts of a bellyache. Throughout, Shea’s vibrant, silly pictures diminish the scariness of the story’s premise and deliver humorous characterization.

A metafictive treat. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38986-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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