cover image The Perfect Little Monster

The Perfect Little Monster

Judy Hindley. Candlewick Press (MA), $10.99 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0902-3

""Isn't he the perfect little monster!"" croon Mommy and Daddy Monster over their youngest offspring. After all, this baby is clearly gifted at scowling, yelling and making a mess. He's also a careful student of his siblings--the sister who ""taught him to sneer and snarl"" and the brother who ""showed him how to bash things and trash things."" Imagine the crushing disappointment, not to mention the outright horror, of the monster's entire extended family when, on the occasion of his first birthday, Little Monster smiles. This happily dysfunctional family should elicit some giggles. But despite the fluorescent backgrounds and zippy typography, British artist Lycett-Smith's (Kitten Kid, Where Are You?) ""monsters"" merely resemble slightly weird bears--they lack the visual verve and interest of, for example, Polly Powell's ghouls in Monster Math. And Hindley's (The Big Red Bus) text is basically an extended one-liner. Ages 2-up. (Jan.)