RRROARR! Even Monsters... by A. J. Smith
EVERYONE KNOWS THAT MONSTERS
BUT DO THEY KNOW....
EVEN MONSTERS PUT ON CLEAN UNDERWEAR EACH MORNING?
This monster tot is a little short on scare power. Oh, he has baby claws and a crooked smile, all right, and his fur IS green, but still, he's pretty downright cute.
And he does all the usual kid stuff. He eats colorful kid cereal (SWAMP MUNCH crunchies, with moose milk and mantis juice on the side.
With a SNARRRL, he brushes his fur with a small croc's teeth and heads off to Krudlump Elementary, where the ABCs begin with Abominable, Bogeyman, and Cyclops, and the proper way to write is with two crayons in his nostrils.
At home with an appropriately grisly GRRUMBLE!, junior monster Stewbo kicks the heck out of a soccer ball and destroys video game aliens with appropriate gusto and then has to finish his dinner, take a bath, brush his fangs, and get ready for bed. GROWLLLL! HOWLLLLL!
And what do even little monsters want at bedtime? A bedtime book called Even Humans... and a goodnight kiss? ZZZZZzzzzz!
A, J. Smith's Even Monsters... (Sourcebooks, 2014) story has no scary surprises, since his premise is that even monsters do all the same stuff kids do, even if combing the cooties out of their fur is not their usual revolting bedtime ritual! The fun in this monster tale is not in getting some vicarious shivers, but in the visual jokes in Smith's illustrations. Stewbo's underwear are whitie tighties with labels that proudly proclaim "USDA ORGANIC," a bit of grownup-pleasing sly humor which trots out all the monster tropes and set them on their head. This little monster is right down the alley for preschoolers, rather in the same vein as Mercer Mayer's earlier classic charmers, the Little Critter series and Jane Yolen's more recent How Do Dinosaurs series. For some serious monster bedtime fun, read this one with Amanda Noll's monstrously delightful twist on monster mania, I Need My Monster (see review here).