The ending may leave younger or more sensitive readers unsettled, so save this slim, adrenaline-fueled tale for those who...

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WAGA'S BIG SCARE

Waga is a monster that is mean, tricky and possesses the “biggest scare.” But when Waga loses that scare, the monster’s very existence is in jeopardy.

It is evident Hiti comes from the comic-book world. The text is pared down to essential declarations, exclamations and gleeful sound effects in this rapidly paced title. In settings of mostly teal, deep red, white, black and gray, Waga stands out as a brilliantly orange phenom outlined in black that appears to be a combination of a golem, troll and mischievous elf. The first few pages boast of Waga’s terrifying reputation in the monster world, but a page turn early on abruptly reveals an instantly saddened creature. The scare is gone, and if Waga fails to recover it by morning, “Waga will disappear for good.” The remainder of the book follows Waga on a search through the “creepy woods,” “the dark, dank cave” and the graveyard, eventually leading to the sudden, surprising revelation of where the biggest scare is. “Waga had left the scare / …IN YOUR ROOM!!! BOOOO HA-HAH-HA-HA-HAH-HAAA…” Waga has overcome his wildly swinging emotions and is now presented as most threatening and scary on the final page, with his many sharp, pointy teeth bared and hands poised to grab.

The ending may leave younger or more sensitive readers unsettled, so save this slim, adrenaline-fueled tale for those who crave a true, if ephemeral, fright. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5622-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone.

HOW I MET MY MONSTER

From the I Need My Monster series

In a tardy prequel to I Need My Monster (2009), candidates for that coveted spot under the bed audition.

As the distressingly unflappable young narrator looks on, one monster after another gives it a go—but even with three mouths, the best roar Genghis can manage is a puny “blurp!”, silly shadow puppets by shaggy Morgan elicit only a sneeze, and red Abigail’s attempt to startle by hiding in the fridge merely leaves her shivering and pathetic. Fortunately, there’s Gabe, who knows just how to turn big and hairy while lurking outside the bathroom and whose red-eyed stare and gross drooling sends the lad scrambling into bed to save his toes. “Kid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” the toothy terror growls. Right he is, the lad concludes, snuggling down beneath the covers: “His snorts and ooze were perfect.” As usual, the white-presenting child’s big, bright, smiling face and the assortment of bumbling monsters rendered in oversaturated hues keep any actual scariness at tentacle’s length. Moreover, Monster, Inc. fans will delight in McWilliam’s painstaking details of fang, claw, hair, and scales.

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947277-09-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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What could be more soporific at bedtime than hairy, green-haired slime ogres with nightlight-orange eyes? (Picture book. 5-8)

HEY, THAT'S MY MONSTER!

From the I Need My Monster series

Another round of under-the-bed–boojum auditions from the creators of I Need My Monster (2009).

Outraged that his personal bed monster, Gabe, has decamped to attend to his wakeful little sister, a lad marches across the hall to remonstrate. Given three chances to conjure up a suitable new monster for hyperactive Emma, three drippy, wormy, tentacled horrors are summoned in turn. Unfortunately, Emma turns out to be delighted rather than properly terrified, and none will do. Will the boy be forced to go monsterless? Drawn with big, shiny eyes and oversized heads, the two light-skinned sibs glow with energy—but the garishly hued monsters in McWilliam’s toy-strewn bedroom scenes are show stealers, whether exuding pools of pink slime or rearing up in glowering, warty menace in vain efforts to get Emma into bed. At last, in a satisfying if not particularly logical twist, it turns out that Gabe himself has a little sister, Stella, whose threatened attack on the giggling Emma’s toes results in a quick bonding and, a page turn later, snoozing children on both sides of the hall.

What could be more soporific at bedtime than hairy, green-haired slime ogres with nightlight-orange eyes? (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-936261-37-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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