It might lack the mild menace of its predecessor, but it satisfies in its supply of companionship all around.

THE MONSTER RETURNS

Jeremy hatches a plan to cope with his monster’s unexpected return.

In the opening scene, Jeremy’s alone, just as he was at the beginning of Jeremy Draws a Monster (2009). He seems content drawing, hoping not to be disturbed, though McCarty’s tempting view of neighborhood kids outdoors implies a gentle question about whether Jeremy’s isolation is really optimal. A paper airplane flies in the window, instructing Jeremy to draw a compass and telescope. Jeremy peers though the telescope (everything he draws becomes real, as in Harold and the Purple Crayon) and sees his old blue monster, who rings up via telephone to declare, “I’m back. And I’m bored!” This announcement means different things to different readers. Those who’ve read Jeremy Draws know that the monster’s bossy and domineering, so they’ll find Jeremy’s monster-diversion scheme a clever defense; new readers may see the plan as simply sweet and fun. Jeremy invites neighbors into his apartment to draw with the fancy pens that carry conjuring power. Each child draws a new monster to partake in the surprise. Copious white space keeps focus on the monster, with his contained, slightly alarming flowery blue swirls, and on the appealingly buoyant kids, drawn in fine, delicate lines and colored with pleasantly pale watercolor.

It might lack the mild menace of its predecessor, but it satisfies in its supply of companionship all around. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9030-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

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In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy.

THE LITTLE GHOST WHO LOST HER BOO!

What can a ghost do when she’s lost her boo?

Little Ghost has a dilemma. Attempting to frighten an unsuspecting human (who presents White), she finds to her dismay that, instead of her signature sound, only “a rush of cold air” escapes her mouth. Mama Ghost sympathizes but fears her child’s “fright nights are done.” Not one to give up easily, Little Ghost launches a search. She encounters her friends Owl, Pigeon, and Rooster, whose sounds are all similar to “Boo”; unable to join Little Ghost in her search for her boo, they offer to lend her their cries. She declines, explaining that, while the calls are perfect for them, they aren’t as scary as hers. She finally heads home, despondent, and meets another pal whose voice resembles her own. In an unexpected concluding twist, Little Ghost locates the friend she most needs, the one who will assuredly help reclaim her boo-tiful sound. This cute but thin rhyming New Zealand import will appeal to ghost fans; they’ll definitely want to comply—loudly—with the final instruction. The jaunty rhyming couplets mostly succeed but are sometimes awkward. Illustrations and white text type pop against saturated turquoise backgrounds. Occasionally, certain words and onomatopoeic sounds, such as the animals’ calls, are capitalized and appear in display type for dramatic effect. Chubby Little Ghost is amorphous, winsome, and wide eyed. Her pals have a bright, folk art–y appearance.

In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20215-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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

MONSTER TROUBLE!

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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