cover image Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters

Jane Yolen, illus. by Kelly Murphy. Candlewick, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-420

Swinging a few branches across the evolutionary tree, Yolen turns her attention from the misbehaving dinosaurs of the How Do Dinosaurs... series to garden-variety monsters that leave school en masse around 3 P.M. Murphy's acrylic and oil spreads feature the not-so-creepy, multicolored beasties against soft copper and aluminum backgrounds. Brandishing four eyes, two horns, tentacles, stripes or slug-like bodies, the adorably ugly monsters engage in rambunctious playground activities to the tune of a rhymed lullaby ("Monsters run,/ Monsters stumble,/ Monsters hip-hop,/ Monsters tumble"), before the story focuses on two horned, pint-size siblings returning to their comforting, candlelit cave. After they wolf down worm sandwiches, their four-eyed parent wrestles them into the tub and then into their beds, where they play the games that monsters (and children) might play in the dark ("GROWL Gurgle/ BURP Grrrr"). Their protestations finally give way to slumber, but the book is filled with enough slap-dash action, humor, and gentle disobedience to keep readers eager for more readings%E2%80%94and probably not all that eager for sleep. Ages 3%E2%80%935. (July)