BooksForKidsBlog

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Creature Snitcher! Hey, That's My Monster by Amanda Noll

TONIGHT, WHEN I LOOKED UNDER MY BED FOR MY MONSTER, I FOUND THIS NOTE INSTEAD:

So long, Kid. Gotta go.

Someone needs me more than you do.
                                          --Gabe

Hey! Wait! Ethan needs his monster Gabe on the job under his bed, threatening to grab his ankles and nibble his toes if he tries to sneak up at night. A growing boy needs his sleep, right? How's he going to get his quota of shut-eye without Gabe on duty?

But, then, when Ethan thinks about it, there is one someone who needs Gabe even worse than he does--his night-roaming little sister Emma, the original Creature of the Night. And Ethan's worse fears are confirmed--Gabe has indeed staked himself out under Emma's under-utilized big girl bed, giving off a ember-like red glow beneath the mattress. What's a kid to do?

GABE IS HIS MONSTER!

Ethan tries to make a deal with Gabe. He promises Gabe that He, Ethan, will get Emma to stay in her bed if Gabe will only move back under his bed.

"YOU? HA! THAT'S A GOOD ONE, KID!" GABE SNORTED.

But Gabe says he likes Ethan's gumption and gives him three shots at sending Emma to dreamland before he permanently decamps to her bedroom.

Ethan challenges Emma to knock on the floor. And sure enough, some monster-type pink goo oozes out from under the bed, and then most of the mucus monster emerges with a sinister sniff.

"BY DABE IS AGAFA!" THE MONSTER SAID. "TIBE FOR BED, EBBA!"

Emma giggles, wipes up the pink goo and keeps right on playing.

"I THINK WE NEED A MONSTER WITH CLAWS," ETHAN MUSES.

A well-clawed monster name Cynthia appears, with a long prehensile tail waving frightully in Emma's direction. But Emma just pulls out some pink plastic dress-up bracelets and decorates Cynthia's tail, pleased with her new accessories model.

"PRETTY!" EMMA LISPS.

Ethan goes for his last try with an oozy vampirish Vladimir with long snaky tentacles who makes straight for Emma with a scary Yessssssssss!

Emma grabs one tentacle and turns it into a jump rope and sings as she jumps....

"BLABIMIR, CYMFIA, AGAFA! YA YA FA FA !!!"

"THAT'S IT, KID!: GABE GROWLED. "NOW IT'S MY TURN!"

Will poor Ethan, like MacBeth, sleep no more? Will Gabe abandon him for permanent duty under Emma's bed? Or is there yet another monster waiting in the wings who can scare even Gabe back under Ethan's bed? In her sequel to her earlier hit, I Need My Monster (see review here) author Amanda Noll's brand-new Hey, That's MY Monster!,  (Flashlight Books, 2016) conjures up the ultimate take-charge monster that will have all brothers among the readers chuckling in recogition as Gabe's big sister Stella is summoned to scare them all straight.

It's all in good, sorta-scary fun well-stirred into a bedtime story just right for a pre-Halloween bedtime or story circle story. Artist Howard McWilliam has a blast with his luminously glowing main characters and his uber-creative, sometimes sarcastic, monster characters, done up in a palette that is perfect for the night-time setting, a sleepytime story that is never a snooze, but appropriately ends with not one, but two sleeping kids.

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