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by Lisa Wheeler ; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Pub Date: June 18th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-236642-9
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

A grown-up monster describes in rhyming verse how monsters of all types go to school, and so must this child monster, no matter how glum about the prospect.

The copyright page and first spread show a very reluctant monster coming down the stairs, dragging a bouncing backpack, to a breakfast of mush. No text sets up this situation. Instead, the text reads “When Bigfoot wakes, he combs his hair…,” which is confusing since none of that is shown. The page turn then syncs text with image, showing Bigfoot jumping out of a tree to catch the bus: “and steps out in the morning air. / Yellow bus is waiting there. // Even Bigfoot goes to school.” The rhyming, smartly scanning stanzas continue, showing that Frankenstein (the monster, wearing Converse-like shoes), dragons, Yeti, bridge trolls, the Loch Ness Monster, Jack’s giant, and aliens all go to school. The last few spreads return to the titular monster, blue-furred with yellow horns and purple stripe and sporting a pink dress and purple backpack, getting ready and then happily waving goodbye while headed to the bus. Van Dusen’s gouache illustrations are spring-bright and cheerful, every (nonscary) imaginary beast delighting in some aspect of school. Once past the opening narrative hiccup, young readers will delight in the premise and in the myriad visual details, which do include gender-binary restrooms in one scene.

Every monster, imaginary or not, will enjoy this and hopefully also find something to enjoy about school.

(Picture book. 3-7)