That's Not the Monster We Ordered

Richard Fairgray, Tara Black, and Terry Jones. Sky Pony, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5107-1136-5
It's a case of keeping up with the Joneses (or, in this case, the Turners) as an interracial family sends away for a pet monster. But while the Turner family's cape-wearing, green-furred monster is a delight—performing daring skateboard moves, carrying the neighborhood children around like a piggyback bus, and serving as an impromptu soccer coach—the monster that lands on the narrator's doorstep isn't nearly as exciting. This dumpy blue monster is of the hapless, flatulent, nose-picking variety. Fairgray and Jones, the duo behind Gorillas in Our Midst and My Grandpa Is a Dinosaur, are joined by comics creator Black for a sweetly goofy story about dashed expectations that predictably give way to contentment. The large trim size leaves plenty of room for the artistic team to show off the monsters' feats and failures in crisp, comical illustrations, and the first-person narration, delivered by one of the family's three children, will sound familiar to anyone whose new pet doesn't quite live up to the hype: "The Turners' monster did all sorts of tricks. Our monster just tapped Dad on the shoulder and giggled a lot." Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Ebook - 978-1-5107-1137-2
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