A young girl learns to fight her nighttime fears by conquering a mirror world of monsters—and a little pink monster learns to do the same.
Martina, ponytailed and blank-faced in striped pink-and-blue pajamas, worries every night that monsters just under the floor might drag her down into their world, "where she would have to learn to live upside down." After a pep talk from her father, Martina falls asleep and dreams of a little pink monster named Anitram who is just as scared of the human world as she is of the monsters’. Anitram's world is far from terrifying. The monsters are little horned fuzzballs with sharp but sparse teeth. Cleverly, text is placed upside down in the monster world, and scenes of Martina in bed are flipped to mirror Anitram in her bed. Blue and pink hues are reversed when the story moves from Martina's world to Anitram's. After Anitram is reassured by her own father, she falls asleep as well, leading to a beautiful moment when the two characters' hands meet through the imagined hole in the floor. Unfortunately, much of the story is presented as a dream of Martina's, which seems unnecessary; it would work just as well, and perhaps even more magically, without that extra layer of distance.
Dream or no, Martina's monster story makes for lovely storytelling. (Picture book. 4-8)