cover image The Problem with NOT Being Scared of Monsters

The Problem with NOT Being Scared of Monsters

Dan Richards, illus. by Robert Neubecker. Boyds Mills, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62091-024-5

Plenty of Halloween stories deal with fear, but debut author Richards suggests that bravery has its own pitfalls. His young hero isn’t afraid of monsters, and, as a result, they won’t leave him alone. “It’s hard to climb out of bed in the morning,” writes Richards, as the boy crawls out from under a heap of creatures that include a purple hairball, a blue octopuslike monster, and what looks like a giant yellow sponge with horns. The boy’s monster “friends” are also happy to sample his cereal, munch on his homework, and wear his favorite pajamas. The book’s ending fizzles a bit, with the boy simply foisting his troubles onto his younger brother, but Neubecker’s pen-and-ink cartoons draw a good amount of fun out of the relationship between the put-upon narrator and the wide-eyed, well-meaning beasties. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Aug.)