SEVEN SCARY MONSTERS

Mary Beth Lundgren, Author, Howard Fine, Illustrator , illus. by Howard Fine. Clarion $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-88913-8

A septet of ghouls and goblins occupies the young narrator's bedroom at night, and he wants them gone—a task he carries out, monster by monster, with some terrific kid ingenuity (such as turning a taped-together baseball bat and flashlight into an energizing zapper), and a magic refrain "Rick! Rack! Wrinkleshack!/ Don't you dare come back!" What sets this tale apart are the monsters themselves—a group that Fine (Broom Mates, reviewed above) wittily renders in thickly applied pastels and portrays from a variety of vertiginous angles. Among the bunch: a hulking, purple-furred, chicken mutant and a diminutive monocled Cyclops with crab claws who bears a slight resemblance to Peter Lorre. Lundgren (Love, Sara) chronicles their diabolism in snappy quatrains: "Four scary monsters/ crashing my computer./ One chomps a file./ I load my monster shooter." But this brand of menace (which also encompasses scaring the boy's goldfish and pouncing on his stuffed giraffe) is hardly nefarious, and youngsters will get both a giggle and a sense of empowerment from the boy's triumphs. In fact, the mischievous motley crew is quite endearing, and after the boy expels the last monster (brandishing the phone, he yells, "Go home!... I called your dad./ See? It's dark, and—Wow!—he's mad"), readers will sympathize when the lonely fellow finds himself uttering one more incantation: "Rick! Rack! Wrinkleshack!/ Monsters, please come back!" Ages 4-7. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Children's
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X