cover image Short Stories for Little Monsters

Short Stories for Little Monsters

Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-55498-896-9

In these comics-style snapshots of whimsy, Gay (Tiger and Badger) lets children and other creatures break the rules of ordinary life. In one of three “Snail Nightmares,” a snail can’t stop its forward momentum and crashes into the end of its comic strip. A girl tests out replacement noses after breaking hers “into a thousand pieces” while playing on a laundry line. And one boy fears that sharks might lurk in a swimming hole—and turns out to be right. Gay’s spidery lines capture her characters’ flyaway hair, the exuberant antics of her animals, and the way her children’s loose-fitting clothing seems to stay up in defiance of gravity. Brilliant colors abound, trees can talk, and the interiors of snail shells feature chandeliers and slipcovered armchairs. In the final comic, two children debate what might be down a rabbit hole. “Maybe rabbits build beautiful houses underground,” the girl says. “Are you kidding?” the boy responds. The truth is bigger than either of them: a cutaway view of the hole reveals a rabbit paradise with its own beachfront and Ferris wheel. Imagination makes the strangest things possible. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)