cover image My Monster Mama Loves Me So

My Monster Mama Loves Me So

Laura Leuck. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-16866-7

Few monsters have been as sweet as the green, googly-eyed mother and son in this cuddly picture book. More literal and less ominous than Liz Rosenberg and Stephen Gammell's Monster Mama, Leuck's (Sun Is Falling, Night Is Calling) rhyming verse describes the myriad ways a mother shows her boundless love: ""She gives me great big hairy hugs,/ bakes me cookies filled with bugs,.../ she sings a monster lullaby/ of things that shriek and moan and creep--/ soothing things to help me sleep."" The tender tone is sure to make this a bedtime favorite for drowsy toddlers. Buehner (My Life with the Wave) attacks his subject matter with obvious glee in vibrant acrylic-and-oil paintings of grinning three-eyed, four-armed monsters with blue toenails taking a dip in a dark and murky swamp or participating in a Little League ""beastball"" game. With a wink, he portrays ""the scary things [that] come out/ to wave their arms and scream and shout"" as human children. This parallel cobwebby world is all heart. Ages 2-up. (Sept.)