cover image Love Monster and the Scary Something

Love Monster and the Scary Something

Rachel Bright. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-34691-1

Fears of lurking monsters can be a source of nighttime anxiety for some kids, so it’s slightly ironic that Bright’s adorably big-eyed monster, returning in his fourth picture book, is himself being kept awake by strange noises. Bright generates some real suspense during Love Monster’s dark night of the soul (“There was definitely something out there! And that something... had definitely gotten in!”), and as her hero’s imagination goes into overdrive, readers see a menacing purple fluffball with “terrible, twisterly toenails” tromping up the stairs. Reality proves to be much cuddlier: the intruder, “the tiniest, fluffiest bunny in Cutesville,” was simply scared of the dark, too. The storytelling can occasionally get a bit convoluted (“Somehow, hiding from the something outside... got harder than finding something brave inside”), but nervous readers will be reassured by the nothing-to-worry-about conclusion. Ages 2–4. (Aug.)