Maddie really loves monsters, a passion that likely stems from the fun she has with her dad, who coincidentally resembles Boris Karloff.
He swings her like a flying saucer and bakes cookies shaped like “the Glob from the Lake.” Most impressive is his ability to draw spooky pictures. But lately, Maddie, like many children, finds her dad too busy to spend time with her. After being put off once too often, she turns to her Build-a-Beast kit to “make a new dad.” Gibala-Broxholm augments his text with gouache-and-pencil pictures hinting at Maddie’s imaginative interpretations of events. She becomes “Maddie Scientist,” fiercely wielding scissors and tape while lightning flashes outside. Half of this double-page spread is in full color while the other is in shades of green and gray, reflecting her make-believe mode. This color scheme persists while Maddie brings her creation to life, though he's a bit disappointing compared to the real thing. The pictures come back to full color when Maddie and her monster go to frighten her dad. The door creaks open, and she finds him at work—“finishing up the illustrations for a new monster book.” Monster Dad has now shrunk back to a little toy. All ends a bit too well with Maddie and her dad in a “big MONSTER hug!”While on the bland side, this may be just the right book for time-tapped families. (Picture book. 4-8)