“A fun board book about a brave, loving child and a not-so-scary monster.”
In this fun board book, a young child and the child’s dog stumble upon a monster in the woods. The monster tries to frighten them, insisting it is very scary. It tells them how pointy its teeth are, how sharp its claws are, and it shows them how loud its roar is. While it’s all very terrifying to the dog, the child remains unfazed. Eventually, when the monster breaks down in tears because the child isn’t scared, the child realizes what the monster really needs is a hug. “How about I give you a big hug?” The tender gesture surprises the monster, but eventually even the dog joins in on the group hug. The black ink drawings, colored only with a bold blue for the monster and dog and a bright red shirt on the child, give this a basic, playful tone that matches its simple, humorous but tender message. Monster is not a very frightening looking monster, as much as it would like to convince its young visitor, and young readers, otherwise. Gravel skillfully highlights monster’s features with minimal lines. Small dash marks draw attention to its claws, while squiggly lines accentuates its horns. The child’s dog provides a fun foil throughout, as, in contrast to its courageous owner, it does find everything about the monster terrifying. First released in French in 2011, this English release is sure to delight many young readers with its example that a person can respond with kindness to those who bristle to keep others out.
Elise Gravel is an award-winning author and illustrator. Well known for her odd critters and unusual drawing style, Elise creates books that are popular with adults and children alike. In 2012 she won the Governor General’s Award for French-language illustration for La clé à molette. Elise lives in Montreal with her husband, two daughters and two cranky cats.
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