Little Monster wants to be in a scary story…or maybe not.
In a tale told entirely in dialogue, an unseen narrator, whose text is set in black type, interacts with purple Little Monster, who, following suit, speaks in purple. The enthusiastic (and adorable, with two little white horn nubbins on its oversize head, big yellow eyes, and three teeth that sometimes change position) Little Monster eschews the narrator’s idea that it star in a funny story—it wants a scary story. But when the narrator plops it down in a dark and scary wood outside a haunted house, Little Monster’s dialogue bubble says “Oh my golly gosh!” Its body language and wide-eyed fright fill in the gaps. The narrator dials back the scary in stages, Little Monster’s quaint expressions continuing as everything is still too frightening for it—though it does lose some of its naiveté along the way, learning to ask specific questions of the narrator. Jullien’s illustrations are suitably creepy, but because the narrator tells Little Monster in advance what will happen with each turn of the page, they shouldn’t be anything readers can’t handle, and the jump at the end is a satisfying one. And after the final page, readers may just be asking along with Little Monster, “So, can I be in a story again tomorrow?”
Little Monster takes the idea of a story from something on a page to something to be lived. (Picture book. 3-7)