cover image Baby Monster

Baby Monster

Andrea Pfeiffer, illus. by Erin Barker. Blue Manatee, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-936669-91-2

The challenges of new parenthood bubble up out of the laboratory after a scientist couple decides to “make a monster” one stormy night in this not-so-subtle metaphor. “The lightning flashed/ and the thunder clapped,” resulting in a small, green blob who fills the role of a human child, wailing when she’s hungry and keeping the scientists, who use tongs to dispose of its “biohazard” diapers, sleep-deprived. But though “ ‘We created a monster!’/ they grieved and lamented,” the trouble caused is eventually forgotten as the wee blob learns to speak and to love (“We’ve created a monster!/ She’s funny and smart!”). Though this outing feels more targeted to new parents than young children, Pfeiffer’s exclamatory rhyming text and Barker’s comical watercolor, ink, and colored pencil images help create a light and silly tone. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)