Written by Helen Ketteman, Illustrated by Bonnie Leick
Marshall Cavendish, 2010
It’s dark, Little Monster!
Bedtime is soon.
Come out on the porch
To howwwlll at the moon.
The plot in a nutshell: A monster goes through his whole bedtime routine.
After howling at the moon, Little Monster has a bath and holds still while his mother picks bugs off of him. Then he dresses in his pajamas (with spiders on them) and has a snack of worm juice and beetle bread. He brushes and flosses his fangs and sits with his mother while she reads him a book. They check under the bed to make sure everything looks safe and then he hops under the covers to cuddle with his toy slug. Mother turns on the night light, wishes him sweet dreams and reminds him that he’s safe and she’ll be nearby.
Author Helen Ketteman gives us a bedtime book that is perfect for those kids who embrace their inner monsters. It works so well because the bedtime routine is, at its core, pretty much the same for this adorable little monster as it is for regular kids, albeit with little changes that set it in the monster world. These changes are what makes the book so much fun, drawing parallels to our world that will make your little one chuckle. A great example is having little monster look under the bed to make sure no scary children are hiding there. The rhymes work really well and practically lull you to sleep as you’re reading.
Although the characters are monsters and the book is filled with bugs and eyeballs and other gross things, there is nothing really scary here and that all comes down to Bonnie Leick’s artwork in watercolor and Prismacolor accents. Little Monster is just the cutest thing in the world, with his big eyes and fuzzy purple ears. His mother’s eyes radiate kindness and love and although their house is filled with images of spiders and bats and other spooky things, it still manages to feel like a cozy and safe place to curl up and sleep. This serves as a subtle reminder that being with the ones you love can make you feel safe even in most intimidating of places. I thought this one was super cute.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that bedtime routines are pretty much the same, no matter who (or what) you are.