cover image Margarash


Mark Riddle, illus. by Tim Miller. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-59270-216-9

Sofa cushions are always a reliable place to find loose change, but scroungers beware: newcomer Riddle reveals that they’re also home to Margarash, a scaly, pointy-eared monster with a serious underbite, who claims those lost coins and other forgotten objects as his own. After a young numismatic named Collin runs afoul of Margarash, the monster locks him in a cage in his vast “couch-cave world” until Collin turns the tables on the creature, using some quick thinking and a favorite trick coin. Painting in bold, chunky shapes, Miller (Snappsy the Alligator [Did Not Ask to Be in This Book]) gives Collin a lanky body and noodle-like head, and although Margarash has his frightening moments, his childlike frowns and tantrums make it clear that his bark is worse than his bite. (Indeed, the two eventually bond over their shared love of coins.) It’s a story with the feel of a modern-day fairy tale or urban legend, one that suggests that compassion and common ground can go a long way toward making friends out of would-be enemies. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)