cover image Poesy the Monster Slayer

Poesy the Monster Slayer

Cory Doctorow, illus. by Matt Rockefeller. First Second, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-362-7

Some children fear monsters at bedtime, but Poesy welcomes them. Her pink “monster lair” features gothic art and stuffed animals, and she makes her father read The Book of Monsters from cover to cover before lights out. “PLEASE stay in bed tonight,” he pleads as he leaves, but there’s no chance: the werewolf who soon enters her window is the size of a grizzly. “Werewolves HATED silver,” Poesy knows, “and they feared the light”—armed with a Princess Frillypants silver tiara and a light-up wand, she vanquishes the beast. And that’s just the beginning of her tear through monsterdom. “Poesy Emmeline Russell Schnegg,” her mother growls from the doorway (in a funny turn, the girl gains a middle name every time a parent appears). Assured panels by Rockefeller (Pop!) combine frilly with threatening, illuminated by eerie light sources. Doctorow, making his picture book debut, strikes a gently edgy tone (“He was so tired,” Poesy sees, “that he stepped on a Harry the Hare block and said some swears. Poor Daddy!”), and his blow-by-blow account races to its closing spread: of two tired parents who resemble yet another monster. Ages 4–6. [em](July) [/em]