BooksForKidsBlog

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways: I Love You More Than The Smell of Swamp Gas by Kevan Atteberry

Little Monster is enjoying a take-your-monster-kid-to-work-night with Papa, which means they are skink-hunting deep in the stinky swamp. Papa Monster sings his happy song:

"I LOVE NOTHING MORE
THAN A MIDNIGHT ROMP,
WHILE I CHASE A SKINK
THOUGH THE DARK, STINKY SWAMP."

Nothing more? Little Monster is suddenly worried.

"DO YOU LOVE ME AS MUCH
AS THE SKINK YOU CHASE?"

Well, when he puts it like that, Papa revises his earlier versification. He loves Little Monster more, he proclaims, even more than bloodsucking ducks! Now that's high praise for his little impling, but Little Monster has to up the ante just a bit. So Papa rises to the challenge, proclaiming that his little one is sweeter than a big whiff of swamp gas.

From a guy who knows a thing or two about monsters, Kevan Atteberry's newest, I Love You More Than the Smell of Swamp Gas (Harper, 2017) takes a spoofy but sweet swipe at Sam McBratney's classic, Guess How Much I Love You, in a silly story in which parental love is rated right along with mummified bass and oozing mud between the toes. Tickle boxes will truly turn over, as Papa counts up the many ways he loves his little "stinkling" boy. Artist Atteberry gives the read-aloud parent some fun, too, as Papa and Little Monster take a cheery stroll through the graveyard among tombstones for the likes of Long John Slither, Winnie the Boo, and Little Skunky Foo Foo. Atteberry's monsters are abstract and not the least scary, and his illustrations are indeed quite pleasing to the eye, as Papa pledges to love his little beastie boy "monstrously." As Kirkus jokes in their review, "Perfect for those parents who are sick of the treacly "how much do I love you" books and who want something with a little more ick."

Share this swamp monster saga with Atteberry's Tickle Monster and Halloween Hustle.

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