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by Scott Beck & illustrated by Scott Beck

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8109-4059-8
Publisher: Abrams

What fun do little monsters have when they get together? Doris, a small green dragon in a lavender dress, cleans her house (with a rake!); the text asks readers, “Is she getting ready for a party?” A parade of guests—which includes a ghost and a young boy vampire—provides the answer. All carry bedrolls: It’s a sleepover! The group plays Simon Says, Doris tells fortunes, robot and mummy get into a scuffle, the hungry skeleton grabs an apple from a fruit bowl and eats the worm inside. Beck tells the story in simple, direct sentences beneath bordered acrylic panels, usually four to an opening but occasionally spreading out for two, that have only a handful of elements. Judicious use of speech balloons helps to develop the characters: “I will not go to sleep!” proclaims the mummy. “I have been ‘asleep’ for centuries. / I’ll get in my sleeping bag but I will NOT go to … / Zzzz…” It’s got a disjointed simplicity that borders on the avant-garde—loopy but appealing. (Picture book. 3-5)