A lighthearted look at things that go bump in the night.
Eventually, every child has a bad dream. This book aims to empower toddlers by putting their nightmares into perspective and their monsters in the closet. Fun, inventive artwork and a battery of well-deployed tactile elements admirably reduce nightmare bugaboos to manageable, nonthreatening proportions. This “hair-raising touch-and-feel book” boasts a wide assortment of fuzzy, furry hides, googly eyes, stringy strands of hair, debossed ghosts, bumpy werewolf noses, scratchy dragon scales, and sticky giant-squid suction cups to keep small hands busy as tykes read along with caregivers. The brightly colored monsters meld monstrous size and teeth with shapes and expressions just goofy enough to convey charm and approachability rather than menace. The combination works. The scarier qualities of these monsters acknowledge children’s fears rather than dismissing them, but the humorous and gentle touches allow children to reassess the level of danger their nightmare creatures actually pose. Children are “double dared” to interact with each monster, scratching the ogre’s hairy feet, pulling the witch’s stringy hair, tickling the ghost, and so on. Young readers can then banish each menace with the admonishment, “Go away, Nightmare Monster! INTO THE CLOSET!” What level of protection that offers, who knows, but every kid loves an invitation to yell.
Great fun, but perhaps best saved till after the first nightmare! (Board book. 18 mos.-5)