Tag Archives: cute monsters

Day 29, book 29: The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

Isn’t this exciting? Two picture book reviews in one day! The Elf is on fire! It’s easy to get pumped when I’ve made it all the way to Book 29 in my 30 Days, 30 Picture Books Challenge. (I’ve saved quite the book for my big finish tomorrow, so be sure to pop by).

Today’s title soars right off the charts on the cuteness scale. What else would you expect from the mega-talented, Caldecott Honor winner Patrick McDonnell? I imagine this one will be a favourite all year round, but I couldn’t think of a better book to buy for any little one you know this Halloween.

Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom n’ Doom may be little, but they are pretty serious about being Monsters. They huff and puff and get mad about everything. They smash and crash and bash and say NO a lot. So when they come up with a plan to create the baddest monster ever, you’d expect they’d be pretty good at it. As it turns out, their Monster is the worst monster possible. He is really nice. He’s polite. He likes jelly doughnuts and sunsets. He changes their lives, but not in the way they had expected.

It’s really hard to decide what I like the most about this book. The text is full of funny moments: “Big!” little Gloom squealed. “Bad!!” little Doom squeaked. “MONSTER!!!” they all cheered together. You just want to be reading it out loud to make the most of the jokes. The images are packed with sweet humour too, like when Monster goes all over the castle gently patting the bats and rats and spiders and snakes. In between laughs, the kids might think about the power of kindness, unexpected friendship, and what it means to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The Monsters’ Monster proves that monsters can be awfully adorable, especially the kind who share their jelly doughnuts.

The Monsters’ Monster is published by Little, Brown.

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Day 23, book 23: The Monster Returns by Peter McCarty

The Monster Returns is a sweet little ode to creativity and friendship, with monsters. This time around, Peter McCarty brings back Jeremy’s blue monster buddy from Jeremy Draws a Monster. At the beginning of the story, the Monster calls Jeremy from a phone booth to let his pal know that he’s back, and he’s bored.

Bored could be a problem. Generally, you never want a monster to be bored. This is common knowledge. If you remember the action in McCarty’s first Jeremy story, you’ll recall how demanding the monster was. So this time, Jeremy is going to be prepared. He thinks fast, inviting a crowd of neighborhood kids to come up to his apartment and help him out. He gives each one a fancy pen and they all draw their own monsters to surprise Jeremy’s monster. “Friends for me?” says Jeremy’s monster, when he sees the others, and all is well.

Peter McCarty’s art is subtle and whimsical, with fine lines and plenty of white background space for the huge, colourful monsters to stand out against. Plus, Jeremy’s monsters pink hat is smashing. I love the kooky end pages, and I’m sure kids will too.

The Monster Returns is published by Henry Holt.