Preschool Prerequisites? Monstergarten by Daniel J. Mahoney
"I'M IN BIG TROUBLE BECAUSE I HAVE TO BE SCARY BY TOMORROW.
IT'S ONE OF THE RULES FOR FOR GOING INTO MONSTERGARTEN!"
Patrick can't even scare his friend Kevin, and he feels like he's already a failure at Monstergarten.
His best friend offers to help him practice up on his scary techniques. Patrick puts on his best monster face and makes his scariest noise to surprise his sleeping cat, Snowball. Startled, Snowball jumps straight up, puffs up her tail and yowls a scary yowl that scares Patrick right back.
Kevin suggests that they try something else. He suggests his sister and her silly friends.
"I'M AN EXPERT IN BEING SCARY, BUT THOSE GIRLS ARE REALLY SCARY!"
But the big girls just laugh at the two little monsters' attempts. Now Patrick feels even more like a pre-matriculation failure already.
Kevin and Patrick hit the books, boning up on scary sounds and frightful moves in all their best horror storybooks. Patrick tries them all out and finds all his attempts unconvincing. Patrick is definitely in a down mood about school.
At dinner his mom notices he's just picking at his lizardloaf.
"JUST BE YOURSELF," SAID HIS MOTHER WITH A HUG.
And despite his first-day fears and an unpromising entrance to the little red Monstergarten hanging onto his dad's foot, Patrick makes the grade in Daniel Mahoney's timely Monstergarten (Feiwel & Friends, 2013). Mahoney's easy-going humorous tale of pre-school anxiety is illustrated by artist Jef Kaminsky's blobby and bright little not-at-all-scary cartoon monsters (which Publisher's Weekly described as "the adorable result of a biochemical spill,") which will help youngsters understand the universality of the night-before jitters.
For more pre-school therapy, pair this one with Lola Schaefer's spoofy Frankie Stein Starts School or Natasha Wing's perennial best-seller, The Night Before Kindergarten (Reading Railroad Books).