cover image Even Monsters Need to Sleep

Even Monsters Need to Sleep

Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Chris Van Dusen. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-236640-5

Cuddly, carefully painted monsters of every stripe are comforted by reliable nighttime rituals in this frisky but soothing bedtime story. “When Bigfoot goes to bed each night,/ he hugs his wooby extra tight/ and leaves on just a little light./ Even Bigfoot needs to sleep,” begins Wheeler (The Christmas Boot). A big, brown furball, Bigfoot wears a red union suit, clutches his wooby (a blue bunny), and nabs a firefly in a jar for a nightlight before bedding down in a tree. Subsequent spreads feature aliens in footie pajamas, a braces-wearing dragon who can’t stop chattering, and a troll whose “big-boy bed is by a brook,/ tucked inside a comfy nook./ Nanny reads his favorite book” (it’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff, of course), among other creatures. Van Dusen (President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath) imagines a frame for the story, too, as a blue monster child holds her two-headed doll while her father reads to her then checks for children under the bed. The book is sure to do the trick at bedtime, and it’s gentle enough even for readers who find monsters intimidating. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)