I Am Scary

Elise Gravel. Orca, $10.95 (30p) ISBN 978-1-4598-2316-7
Gravel’s (What Is a Refugee?) beguiling, economical style is in top form in this board book. A big turquoise monster with an angry red mouth and two striped horns encounters a kid and dog in a forest. “Look at me!” the monster says, jumping out from behind a tree, “I am very SCARY!” While the dog strikes a range of attitudes, from snarling and protective to let’s-get-out-of-here, the kid is fazed not one bit. In fact, no matter how much the monster rails (“Listen to this: Grrrrrrrrrrr!”), the child stands firm, until the monster finally breaks down in tears over being unable to frighten. “I think you’re cute,” says the kid—and in truth, the monster really is quite adorable. The child follows up the compliment with the offer of a hug, the dog joins in, and on the final page, it’s clear the monster’s heart has melted. The petite format, hand-lettered text, and spare, single-plane black line drawings, punctuated with saturated spot color, make this book feel like a comedy skit lovingly performed for an intimate audience. Ages up to 3. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/02/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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