If only every underwear shopping trip ended in such satisfaction.



When a tattered but loved pair of underwear finally falls apart, Monster must brave Undie World to find a new pair.

The search is harder than it might seem: “PUT. DOWN. THOSE. UNDIES. / THOSE. AREN’T. THE. ONES. / Those undies aren’t worthy / of dressing these buns!” From the designs on the underwear to their style, cut, and feel, none fit the bill, er, butt. But then Monster, high atop a pile of discards, a single pair askew on one of his horns, spies the perfect pair. “The moment I saw them, / my tush fell in love!” He concludes the shopping trip by posing, walking, dancing, and taking a stance in the new underwear. Oddly, as there’s been no hint before this of a filmed performance, Berger ends this rollicking, giggle-inducing romp with a spread of Monster taking a bow, other monsters applauding around a clapperboard: “And…SCENE.” Carpenter uses just three colors in his illustrations, and lime-green Monster stands out amid all the other, blue, nonscary monsters, especially when sporting his red-and-white tighty whities, his expressions wonderfully readable. Strangely, though Monster realizes that going underwear-less is “just a little bit c-c-cold. / …And a little exposed / …and A LOT to behold” (Monster shivers behind the leaf of a potted plant), he goes shopping with not a stitch on. No anatomy is shown; Monster’s gender is cued by underwear style.

If only every underwear shopping trip ended in such satisfaction. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-87973-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)


Monster lives in Cutesville, where he feels his googly eyes make him unlovable, especially compared to all the “cute, fluffy” kittens, puppies and bunnies. He goes off to find someone who will appreciate him just the way he is…with funny and heartwarming results.

A red, scraggly, pointy-eared, arm-dragging monster with a pronounced underbite clutches his monster doll to one side of his chest, exposing a purplish blue heart on the other. His oversized eyes express his loneliness. Bright could not have created a more sympathetic and adorable character. But she further impresses with the telling of this poor chap’s journey. Since Monster is not the “moping-around sort,” he strikes out on his own to find someone who will love him. “He look[s] high” from on top of a hill, and “he look[s] low” at the bottom of the same hill. The page turn reveals a rolling (and labeled) tumbleweed on a flat stretch. Here “he look[s] middle-ish.” Careful pacing combines with dramatic design and the deadpan text to make this sad search a very funny one. When it gets dark and scary, he decides to head back home. A bus’s headlights shine on his bent figure. All seems hopeless—until the next page surprises, with a smiling, orange monster with long eyelashes and a pink heart on her chest depicted at the wheel. And “in the blink of a googly eye / everything change[s].”

This seemingly simple tale packs a satisfying emotional punch. Scarily good! (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-374-34646-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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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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