The Scariest Monster might be right; this might incite too many giggles for a bedtime story.

THIS BOOK IS NOT A BEDTIME STORY!

No one wants to be scared just before bed; better avoid this one. (Not!)

“Bedtime stories / make you sleepy. / This book won’t. / It’s much too CREEPY.” The horned, red-furred narrator, aka the World’s Scariest Monster, says they’ve got umpteen scary faces and their middle name is “Terror” (but their Scary Monster Society license reads: “Fluffy Terry McFluff”). The woodland animals the monster is trying to scare are a bit skeptical. The monster’s roars are loud but sound a bit like sneezes. No matter: “My monster gang / are a horrible bunch. / They’ll spread you on toast / and have you for lunch,” the monster goes on. The wide-eyed and extremely cuddly gang will indeed be happy to have the animals for lunch (as guests). The monster keeps trying, taking the gang to a haunted house (where they can’t even scare a mouse), a ghost pirate ship (where the scariest thing is a seal’s shadow), and a cave (where the gang are terrified). How about if they hide under your bed? But when the moon points out that the little monster looks sleepy, the tale does end in snores. McLaughlin’s boastful monster narrates the primary text in rhyme, with speech bubbles conveying both the forest creatures’ doubts and the monster gang members’ dialogue, which comically undermines the narrator at just about every turn. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The Scariest Monster might be right; this might incite too many giggles for a bedtime story. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-84365-506-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pavilion Children's

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required.

MONSTER TROUBLE!

How do you deal with an infestation of monsters?

“Winifred Schnitzel was never afraid. / Not of monsters or ghouls or the noises they made.” In fact, young Winifred loves pirates and werewolves and scary movies. This doesn’t stop monsters of all shapes and sizes from trying to scare her, but all of their growling and snarling and menacing is for naught, as Winifred thinks monsters are cute. However, their nightly visits are keeping her awake, so she buys a book (Monsters Beware!) for monster-trapping ideas. The sticky-string trap doesn’t work, and neither does the stinky cheese (they just eat it). She’s so pooped she sleeps through ballet class. Next, she makes every trap in her monster book, and that tuckers her out to such an extent that she’s already snoring when the monsters arrive the next night. She wakes groggily from a dream of kissing puppies and accidentally kisses a monster on the schnozzle—thus discovering every monster’s weakness. Now she dismisses each monster with a kiss and sleeps very well every night. Fredrickson’s jauntily rhyming tale of brave, African-American Winifred is an excellent balm to monster fears. Robertson’s googly-eyed monsters of all shapes and sizes are cartoon-adorable, with just a hint of toothy, clawed ferocity.

A brightly colored monster tale that begs to be animated. Repeat readings required. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1345-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy.

THE LITTLE GHOST WHO LOST HER BOO!

What can a ghost do when she’s lost her boo?

Little Ghost has a dilemma. Attempting to frighten an unsuspecting human (who presents White), she finds to her dismay that, instead of her signature sound, only “a rush of cold air” escapes her mouth. Mama Ghost sympathizes but fears her child’s “fright nights are done.” Not one to give up easily, Little Ghost launches a search. She encounters her friends Owl, Pigeon, and Rooster, whose sounds are all similar to “Boo”; unable to join Little Ghost in her search for her boo, they offer to lend her their cries. She declines, explaining that, while the calls are perfect for them, they aren’t as scary as hers. She finally heads home, despondent, and meets another pal whose voice resembles her own. In an unexpected concluding twist, Little Ghost locates the friend she most needs, the one who will assuredly help reclaim her boo-tiful sound. This cute but thin rhyming New Zealand import will appeal to ghost fans; they’ll definitely want to comply—loudly—with the final instruction. The jaunty rhyming couplets mostly succeed but are sometimes awkward. Illustrations and white text type pop against saturated turquoise backgrounds. Occasionally, certain words and onomatopoeic sounds, such as the animals’ calls, are capitalized and appear in display type for dramatic effect. Chubby Little Ghost is amorphous, winsome, and wide eyed. Her pals have a bright, folk art–y appearance.

In time for Halloween, a BOO-k about a ghost that young readers will enjoy. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-20215-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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