cover image Huggly Gets Dressed

Huggly Gets Dressed

Tedd Arnold. Cartwheel Books, $8.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-91819-0

Huggly is a pudgy, somewhat klutzy, googly-eyed, altogether unfrightening monster who lives under the bed of a ""people child."" One night Huggly bumps his head on the boy's bureau, becomes intrigued by the clothes inside and gamely tackles the project of dressing: ""He wondered why they wear the stuff. He wondered how. Huggly decided to try for himself."" As in Mordicai Gerstein's Stop Those Pants! (Children's Forecasts, Apr. 27), this situation provides the slimmest of plots, but pours on pure silliness. Scenes of Huggly's google eyes peering through white cotton briefs over his head, his scaly green torso clad in a striped T-shirt with ""a nice hole for his tail"" and his monster hands covered with socks will likely tickle children. Arnold's (Parts) signature cartoon illustrations, overlain with a fine tangle of scrawly lines, create modulations in color and an almost crackled look. This benign fantasy is a reassuring way to imagine a monster's nocturnal adventures. Ages 5-7. (June)