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Playing perhaps to a crude notion of children's baser instincts, Kroll has rounded up a garbage bag's worth of messy kiddie stunts and put them all together in one monster birthday party that would be a total gross-out if it weren't so tamely unimaginative. The parents of Slug, the birthday girl, have prepared the living room by putting slime all over the floor, cobwebs in the windows, rats and lizards between the sofa cushions, and mice and bats under the rug. On arrival, the guests roll in the slime, catch spiders, and nibble on the mice and bats. The gifts are all on the order of monster-eye marbles, the meal ends with the children pouring sticky punch on Slug and stuffing cake and ice cream in their ears and noses; and the play involves pinning tails on each other and breaking the family's beds. For a safe perspective on all this infantile acting out, Kroll shows it through the unhappy eyes of little monster Muck, who goes reluctantly to the party, hides throughout the proceedings, then leaves quietly with a lizard he meets under the sofa who shares his preference for more civilized ways. A dumb idea, executed without a redeeming jot of wit.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1980
Publisher: Holiday House