cover image Alphabeasts: A Monstrously Fun Book

Alphabeasts: A Monstrously Fun Book

Hazel Quintanilla. Flowerpot, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4867-2781-0

No ID is required, but readers are asked to take the Monsterlovers Oath before being granted members’ clearance to Monsterlovers HQ, and a peek at its classified, top-secret files, in this monstrous abecedarian. Before the reader joins their number, the Monsterlovers—a crew of smiling kids portrayed with an array of skin tones who carry folders, cameras, or walkie-talkies—introduce brief profiles of 26 mythical creatures, as compiled by the “international organization in charge of researching and protecting monsters from around the world.” These range from the Agogwe, found in East African jungles and designated “Hairiest Monster,” to the Slovakian Firebird Zhar-ptitsa, voted “Cutest Monster.” Each critter’s lighthearted dossier includes a physical description and location, an interesting fact, and a danger level, as well as special distinguishing traits (Sheepsquatch, for example, is “smelliest”). Quintanilla’s predominantly cheery cast—a rainbow of fur, fangs, scales, horns, and wings—provides a solidly global accounting and is sure to encourage deeper investigation, aided by a map, tips, and a QR code. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)