Monsters: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about monsters?

Hearing “monsters” in a title or seeing one on the cover might not make your child excited to read a book…we hope to change that! While each child is different, finding great books about funny or friendly monsters can help put a child’s mind to ease about monsters and lessen their fears of them. These picks are books about monsters that your kids will actually like reading!

Top 10 Books About Monsters

Where the Wild Things Are book
#1
Where the Wild Things Are
Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Grammy

I really love this book! I have a copy from when my children were little and I have copies for each of their households when collecting children’s books starts to be relevant. For children, the world is really black and white, and filled with extremes; either everything is fantastic, or it is terrible. Children can relate to Max, having all experienced that separation from vigorous activity to solitude, with imaginations still running wild. It is excellent that Max is not afraid of the monsters, being master of his imaginary world, and fitting that when he has finished his adventures he returns to the safety and security of home.

Where the Wild Things Are is fifty years old! Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time. A must for every child’s bookshelf.

Introduce a new generation to Max’s imaginative journey with this special anniversary edition. Let the wild rumpus continue as this classic comes to life like never before with new reproductions of Maurice Sendak’s artwork.

Astonishing state-of-the-art technology faithfully captures the color and detail of the original illustrations. Sendak himself enthusiastically endorsed this impressive new interpretation of his art before his death in 2012. This iconic story has inspired a movie, an opera, and the imagination of generations.

Frankenstein book
#2
Frankenstein
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

I think this might be the chef d’oeuvre of the whole BabyLit series. As a fan of Mary Shelley’s original novel, I think this take on it is clever and hilarious. To my kids, it’s a cute book about body parts, made extra fun by featuring a funny-looking monster. It’s a win all around!

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

Spike, the Mixed-up Monster book
#3
Spike, the Mixed-up Monster
Written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Poor Spike, a monster that no one is afraid of. He’s just too cute! This is a great picture book to introduce some Spanish, as well as talk about the difference it can make just to smile at others. :)

Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.

Maurice the Unbeastly book
#4
Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon and illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Super cute book with absolutely gorgeous illustrations! I love the colors and all the cute monsters in the book. This story does a great job of showing how even when we, or someone else, might seem different, we all have special talents and abilities to offer and learn from others. Plus, this book about Maurice might help little ones who are afraid of any monsters realize that maybe monsters can be very nice. :)

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#5
Love Monster and the Perfect Present
Written and illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I thought this book was super cute! The illustrations are fun, and despite the book being about “monsters,” they’re the nicest monsters I’ve ever seen. :) I love the message of giving something from the heart that doesn’t have to be expensive or flashy.

Everyone in Cutesville is excited for the most special day of the year: Present Day! Love Monster goes on a hunt for the perfect gift for his special someone, but as it turns out, finding the perfect gift is not easy. And the only thing worse than a not-perfect present is no present at all. But Love Monster soon comes up with the idea for the best gift ever—one that comes straight from his furry heart.

The Monsters' Monster book
#6
The Monsters' Monster
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a great book, especially for around Halloween time, but it’s worth reading year round! The message that being grateful is far more enjoyable than being a little monster is a great one, and the setting in this very unrealistic situation makes it enjoyable rather than overly moralizing.

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the BIGGEST, BADDEST monsters around. Then along came an even BIGGER monster who changed their minds. And all it took was two little words. In this playful tale from bestselling picture book author Patrick McDonnell, a very BIG monster shows three very BAD little monsters the power of boundless gratitude.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts book
#7
Even Monsters Need Haircuts
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! It’s great for Halloween, of course, but this book is one that’s still fun to read all year long, especially if your little one is getting ready for a haircut. It’s funny and the story is great! The only thing I’d mention is spoiler that there is one monster who looks like a normal person but takes his head off, so I’d just be wary of that if your child might be sensitive to that or monsters, in general.

Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks. Perfect for Halloween, this is a hilarious story about a boy who follows in his father’s footsteps . . . in his own monstrously unique way.

The Monster Who Lost His Mean book
#8
The Monster Who Lost His Mean
Written by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Teased by the other monsters for being nice instead of mean, Onster prefers playing with children and helping them with their chores to frightening them.

Monster & Son book
#9
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author’s incorporation of language such as “chase you into bed” and “gobbled down a snack” that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur…discovering that monsters and humans aren’t so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

The Gruffalo book
#10
The Gruffalo
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Books About Monsters and Halloween

Frankenstein book
#1
Frankenstein
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

I think this might be the chef d’oeuvre of the whole BabyLit series. As a fan of Mary Shelley’s original novel, I think this take on it is clever and hilarious. To my kids, it’s a cute book about body parts, made extra fun by featuring a funny-looking monster. It’s a win all around!

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts book
#2
Even Monsters Need Haircuts
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! It’s great for Halloween, of course, but this book is one that’s still fun to read all year long, especially if your little one is getting ready for a haircut. It’s funny and the story is great! The only thing I’d mention is spoiler that there is one monster who looks like a normal person but takes his head off, so I’d just be wary of that if your child might be sensitive to that or monsters, in general.

Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks. Perfect for Halloween, this is a hilarious story about a boy who follows in his father’s footsteps . . . in his own monstrously unique way.

Ten Little Monsters book
#3
Ten Little Monsters
Written by Mike Brownlow and illustrated by Simon Rickerty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Ten little monsters set off in search of adventure. But what will the ten little monsters do when they meet a howling werewolf, a giant spider and other scaries in the night? A monster stomp of a book with lots of things to spot and count on every page, this noisy rhyming story from the creators of the bestselling Ten Little Pirates is perfect for sharing again and again - at Halloween, or indeed at any time of the year! Now in a chunky board book format, perfect for little hands to hold. Praise for Ten Little Pirates: ‘A rollicking read with an easy rhythm and jaunty illustrations . . . an excellent addition to books that help with counting.’ Guardian ‘Ties together its counting lessons and bobbing rhymes with intricate neatness . . . Lots of humorous details to discover on every page.’ Time Out ‘Hilarious. Will have both child and reader laughing out loud.’ Angels & Urchins ‘This book is wonderful.’ Child-Led Chaos

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Dare You! - This very scary, very silly book will have young children roaring with laughter as they dare each other to touch the hair of a spider, the belly of a monster, the sticky tongue of a snake, and many more icky parts of creepy creatures! But who will be brave enough to turn to the last page to see the spookiest monster of all? The truly courageous will be rewarded with a shockingly hilarious—yet eerily familiar—surprise!

  2. Where's the Witch? - Five stylishly illustrated spreads show a series of gently spooky creatures hiding behind bright felt flaps in this Halloween offering. A mirror on the final spread makes for a satisfying ending to the book’s search-and-find inquiries. A perfect book to share with very little ones.

  3. Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters - From “Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary” to “Wee Willie Werewolf,” this collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills—and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit. Boo!

  4. Goodnight, Little Monster - Rhyming text describes a mother guiding her young monster through bedtime preparations, such as howling at the moon, snacking on worm juice and beetle bread, and choosing a bedtime story.

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Books About Monsters and Funny Monsters

Love Monster book
#1
Love Monster
Written and illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Love Monster is a slightly hairy monster trying to fit in with the cuddly residents of Cutesville. But as it turns out, it’s hard to fit in with the cute and the fluffy when you’re a googly-eyed monster. And so, Love Monster sets out to find someone who will love him just the way he is. His journey is not easy―he looks high, low, and even middle-ish. But as he soon finds out, in the blink of a googly eye, love can find you when you least expect it.

Look out for Love Monster and the Perfect Present, coming in Fall 2014.

I Want To Be in a Scary Story book
#2
I Want To Be in a Scary Story
Written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Monster may think he wants to be in a scary story, but then again . . . A hilarious return by the team that brought us Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise.

Our author would like to write a funny story, but his main character — Monster — has a different idea. He wants to be the star of a chilling, petrifying, utterly terrifying SCARY story. But scary stories . . . well, they can be very scary — especially for their characters! Particularly when they involve dark forests and creepy witches and spooky houses . . . Oh yikes and crikes, this is definitely not the scary story Monster had in mind! Maybe he wants to be in a funny story after all!

Eat Pete book
#3
Eat Pete
Written and illustrated by Michael Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the creator of Goodnight Goon, a laugh-out-loud friendship story that perfectly captures the high and low moments of a typical playdate!

Pete couldn’t be more thrilled when a monster shows up in his bedroom. Now Pete has someone to play with! And the hungry monster couldn’t be more thrilled to be there, either. Now he can . . . EAT PETE!

But Pete has other ideas. And they are all good fun and quite distracting—things like playing cars and pirates. Well, we all know the course of playing together nicely never did run smoothly. So how much longer will the monster have to wait before he can . . . EAT PETE?

Honorable Mentions
  1. If Your Monster Won't Go To Bed -

  2. Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? - In this monstrously funny picture book, an inquisitive young girl with some pressing questions proves these creatures may not be so scary after all. Tucked up in her bed, a little girl wonders about the creatures rumored to go bump in the night. But instead of pulling the covers over her head, she comes up with a list of important questions, like: Does Frankenstein get hungry? Does Dracula floss his fangs? Does the boogeyman have boogers? Does the thing that lives beneath my bed get lonely under there? With each inquiry, the little girl’s confidence grows—proving monsters are no match for her imagination! From debut talent John Solimine, this laugh-out-loud picture book has all the silly and gentle reassurance kids need for a good night’s sleep.

  3. The Monsters' Monster - The Book Snob Mom - Such a great book, especially for around Halloween time, but it’s worth reading year round! The message that being grateful is far more enjoyable than being a little monster is a great one, and the setting in this very unrealistic situation makes it enjoyable rather than overly moralizing.

  4. The Monster Who Lost His Mean - Teased by the other monsters for being nice instead of mean, Onster prefers playing with children and helping them with their chores to frightening them.

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Books About Monsters and Adventure

Inkheart book
#1
Inkheart
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret— he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father’s past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father’s life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast book
#2
The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast
Written and illustrated by Samantha M. Clark
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home. This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.

The Cryptid Keeper book
#3
The Cryptid Keeper
Written by Lija Fisher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this second book in a monstrously funny middle-grade duology, Clivo Wren continues searching for the immortal cryptid as the evil resistance gets more dangerous.

Clivo Wren and the Myth Blasters are back in this concluding high-octane adventure in the Cryptids duology! The search for the immortal cryptid is still on—Clivo is determined to fulfill the mission left to him by his cryptid-catching father. But as the evil resistance grows ever more gnarly, and the creatures themselves grow more dangerous, Clivo and his crew are facing trouble at every turn. It’s going to take all they have to keep the immortal cryptid from falling into the wrong hands in this exciting sequel to The Cryptid Catcher.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Clockwork Dragon - Jack discovers new abilities, travels to exciting lands, and thwarts a conspiracy brewing deep within the ministries in this epic conclusion to the action-packed Section 13 series. Jack Buckles is on trial for his life. The Ministries of Secrets and Guilds, led by Ignatius Gall, are conspiring to put the Ministry of Trackers down for good—starting with Jack’s very existence as a Section 13. His only hope is to prove that Gall is the real danger, not him, and it leads Jack and Gwen from the back streets of London, through the Austrian Alps, to the great reaches of central China. Joined by their new friend Liu Fai, Jack and Gwen set out to stop Gall before he can uncover ancient Chinese artifacts, said to grant immortality. But a clockwork monster threatens them at every turn, and its turning gears only serve as a reminder that Jack’s judgment day is fast approaching—and that he’s running out of time.

  2. Medea the Enchantress - Princess Medea and a boy named Jason go on a quest for the Golden Fleece in this twenty-third Goddess Girls adventure! Jason and Princess Medea are on a quest for the golden fleece, a symbol of kingship, that’s hanging from a limb of the great oak tree. But a huge sleeping serpent guards the fleece—and is the one (scary!) barrier for Jason and Medea. With the help of a special sleeping potion Medea creates, can Medea and Jason work their magic and take what is rightfully theirs?

  3. Surf's Up, Creepy Stuff! - Desmond and Andres battle beach bullies who also happen to be creepy monsters in the third book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and I’m afraid of everything. When you go to the beach with Desmond Cole, it isn’t all sand, surf, and sun. It’s more like, ghosts, ghouls, and gloom. And yes, being haunted while there’s sand in your swimsuit is annoying, but at least you can always count on one thing—beach life is never boring with Mersurfers around. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  4. Speed Dash - Atalanta believes herself to be the fastest hero truck in the world, as her record of winning races indicates—and now she must also defeat the MonsterTrucks that challenge her to ever more demanding obstacle courses, but with a little help from the other hero trucks she will prevail.

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Books About Monsters and Friendship

Spike, the Mixed-up Monster book
#1
Spike, the Mixed-up Monster
Written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Poor Spike, a monster that no one is afraid of. He’s just too cute! This is a great picture book to introduce some Spanish, as well as talk about the difference it can make just to smile at others. :)

Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.

Sea Monster! book
#2
Sea Monster!
Written by Jordan Quinn and illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Troubled waters ahead! Lucas and Clara search for a scary sea monster in this third chapter book in the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series.

Something has been making waves around Wrenly, and it’s not the tides. Prince Lucas is sure that it’s the mysterious sea monster that has only been heard of in tall tales. Now the legendary monster is frightening everyone—from fishermen, to the king’s men, to even the hardiest of sea captains. With the aid of his best friend, Clara, and a cast of unlikely helpers, it’s up to Prince Lucas to discover what is bothering the beast—and make the trouble stop!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes book
#3
Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker and illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour - The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?

  2. The Last Kids on Earth - Soon to be a Netflix Original series! The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, with over two million copies in print! “Terrifyingly fun! Delivers big thrills and even bigger laughs.”—Jeff Kinney, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Diary of a Wimpy Kid Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it? Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And then grab the rest of the series, now a New York Times bestseller!

  3. The Horrible Hex - Linda is a good witch, who always tries to undo the hexes that her sisters, Agnes and Griselda, create—but to defeat the malevolent smoke that they have cooked up this time, and teach her sisters a lesson, she will need the help of her monster friends, Brian the zombie, Mina the vampire, and Will the ghost.

  4. Little Bigfoot, Big City - From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes the second book in the “smartly crafted” (BCCB) and “heartwarming” (School Library Journal) trilogy about friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

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Books About Monsters and Bedtime

Monster & Son book
#1
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author’s incorporation of language such as “chase you into bed” and “gobbled down a snack” that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur…discovering that monsters and humans aren’t so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

I Will Fight Monsters for You book
#2
I Will Fight Monsters for You
Written by Santi Balmes and illustrated by Lyona
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What if an entire world of MONSTERS lived underneath your floor? Martina is having trouble sleeping because she is afraid monsters might break through the floor and bring her into the monster world where she’ll have to learn how to scare humans. Meanwhile, Anitram, a little girl monster, is also having trouble sleeping. There’s a noisy little human jumping on the bed in the upside-down world under her floor! Martina and Anitram have more in common than they realize and when a mysterious hole opens up in the floor between their worlds, they are in for a big surprise! A beautiful and clever tale that makes a perfect bedtime story for anyone who is afraid of (or wants to become friends with) a monster!

My Tail's Not Tired book
#3
My Tail's Not Tired
Written by Jana Novotny Hunter and illustrated by Paula Bowles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How can any little monster possibly go to bed when their tail isn’t even tired? And when their knees still have plenty of bounce in them? And when their arms still want to fly like a jet plane? Bedtime is surely a long way off! Luckily, Big Monster has a strategy to outwit Little Monster, with the inevitable result! A humorous and charming bedtime story that adults and children will love to read - and play out - again and again.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Monster Trouble - Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON’T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What’s a girl to do? (Hint: Monsters HATE kisses!) The delightfully sweet ending will have every kid—and little monster—begging for an encore.

  2. Goodnight Goon - The #1 New York Times bestselling picture book parody will have kids howling with laughter. Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon. It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest. A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

  3. Brave Little Monster - BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER relates the humorous bedtime exploits of a young monster trying to go sleep while a scary little girl hides in his closet eating ice cream and a little boy colors under his bed. The wonderful illustrations by Geoffrey Hayes and fun storyline by Ken Baker make BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER a perfect bedtime story for little monsters everywhere. “Little monsters fear little girls and boys hiding in their rooms in this delightful parody of a nightly bedtime ritual

  4. Nothing Can Frighten a Bear - When Baby Bear hears a noise and fears a monster is near, the whole family gets out of bed and searches the woods to prove that monsters are not real.

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Books About Monsters and School

Maurice the Unbeastly book
#1
Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon and illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Super cute book with absolutely gorgeous illustrations! I love the colors and all the cute monsters in the book. This story does a great job of showing how even when we, or someone else, might seem different, we all have special talents and abilities to offer and learn from others. Plus, this book about Maurice might help little ones who are afraid of any monsters realize that maybe monsters can be very nice. :)

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables book
#2
Chomp of the Meat-Eating Vegetables
Written by Troy Cummings
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Alexander is used to finding monsters everywhere in Stermont, but now the school is being turned into an icebox by giant meat-eating vegetables—and his friend Rip has gone missing.

Tank & Fizz book
#3
Tank & Fizz
Written by Liam O'Donnell and illustrated by Mike Deas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

When their school bus veers off course while taking the kids from Gravelmuck Elementary on a field trip, monster detectives Tank and Fizz witness a crime that brings them snout to snout with Rockfall Mountain’s oldest monster, the ancient dragon Firebane Drakeclaw. Thieves have stolen the Crown of Peace, which keeps the monster clans of the Dark Depths from fighting, and Tank and Fizz saw the whole thing. Now the detectives must track down the thieves and find the crown or their whole class will become dinner for one very hungry dragon! The Case of Firebane’s Folly is the fourth book in the Tank & Fizz series about two crime-solving monsters living under a mountain.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Even Monsters Go to School - In the vein of the bestselling How Do Dinosaurs…? series, this follow-up to Even Monsters Need to Sleep is a fresh and humorous back-to-school picture book. What’s a school day like for you? Bigfoot rides a yellow bus. Frankenstein shows off his new shoes. Troll loves playing tag at recess. And aliens go gaga over school supplies. Just like you, even monsters go to school!

  2. Dreaming Dangerous - Tucked deep in the woods and surrounded by a great iron fence lies Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary, a school for orphans with strange and wonderful gifts. Twelve-year-old Plum has lived there for as long as she can remember. Each night, she ventures into her dreams alongside her three best friends, Vien, Gwendle, and Artem to fight monsters and journey on dangerous quests. But one night, Plum gets a mysterious warning that she and her friends are no longer safe. And the next morning, Artem is nowhere to be found. As Plum, Vien, and Gwendle search for their friend—in both the dreaming and waking worlds—they start to uncover alarming secrets about Brassmere and its intentions. Will they be able to find Artem before it’s too late, or will they be next to disappear?

Want to see more children's books about school?

Books About Monsters and Silly

I Will Chomp You! book
#1
I Will Chomp You!
Written by Jory John and illustrated by Bob Shea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A monster tries to chomp any reader who wants to go past the first page of the book in order to keep his cakes safe.

I Loathe You book
#2
I Loathe You
Written and illustrated by David Slonim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Unconditional loathing is disguised as monsterly love in this sweetly humorous picture book from acclaimed author-illustrator David Slonim. Just how much does Big Monster loathe Little Monster? Let it count the ways… I loathe you more than tooth decay More than blizzard snow in May More than garbage in a dump More than splinters in my rump No matter what, through thick and thin, I loathe you there and back again! Author and illustrator David Slonim depicts a tender, tongue-in-cheek celebration of a very special kind of loathe…er, love.

Books That Drive Kids CRAZY!: This Is a Ball book
#3
Books That Drive Kids CRAZY!: This Is a Ball
Written by Beck Stanton and illustrated by Matt Stanton and Beck Stanton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

For the giggling masses who love Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, BJ Novak’s The Book With No Pictures, and Bill Cotter’s Don’t Push the Button comes an interactive new series! The Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! series offers parents, teachers, and storytellers a hilarious script for fun reading time together. Book 2, This Is a Ball, is a boldly absurd spin-off of concept books, and an audaciously contrarian invitation for readers to practice deadpan delivery: after all, the picture on the cover clearly shows a cube, not a ball. The page that declares a princess is flying a kite at the beach shows an alien holding a balloon in a city…and on and on. What is WRONG with this silly book? Kids will demand to know—and all readers will be howling with laughter all along the way. With strikingly simple text and art, Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! are ideal picks for emergent readers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Batneezer - For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open—but he’s not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor’s unusual antics are only one of Rob’s problems. While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present, and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!) Obert Skye doesn’t let his fans down in the hilarious final installment in the Creature from My Closet series. A Christy Ottaviano Book

  2. The Lord of the Hat - In Book 5 in the Creature from My Closet series, Rob Burnside is visited by an especially strange closet creature: the CAT IN THE HAT mashed with GOLLUM from The Lord of the Rings. Certainly a goofier-than-usual hybrid! Rob Burnside thinks he’s getting the hang of things. It almost seems as if he has learned all he needed to from his unusual closet. Beardy, the doorknob, has it locked up and there are no signs of the closet door opening again. But something slips from the closet unnoticed and that something is part Gollum, part Cat in the Hat. He’s an intense creature with mad rhyming skills. When Rob’s family wins a trip to Colorado, something extra makes it into his luggage. Get ready for school fights, train rides, long mysterious hikes, and a creature unlike any of the others. What Rob will discover is epic. “This pitch-perfect offering should appeal to reluctant readers, not to mention the legion Wimpy Kid fans.” —Shelf Awareness on the Creature from My Closet series “The text is hysterical by itself, but acts as the straight man in relation to the one-two punch of the childlike drawings and captions. . . Get multiple copies of this book; it will fly off the shelves.” —School Library Journal on the Creature from My Closet series A Christy Ottaviano Book Titles in the Creature from My Closet series: Wonkenstein Potterwookie Pinocula Katfish The Lord of the Hat Batneezer

  3. Katfish - A schoolwide event inspired by the Hunger Games and a girl with the strength of Katniss Everdeen (plus a scaly mermaid tail)—is Rob Burnside in store for even more trouble than usual? Find out in Book 4 in Obert Skye’s middle grade Creature from My Closet series. Rob Burnside’s life is in ruins. After his escapades with Pinocula and his resulting outrageous lies, everyone is fed up with him. Rob needs help. And his science laboratory closet is there to give him a hand. Meet Katfish, a mashup of Katniss from the Hunger Games and the Little Mermaid. This girl is strong as nails and sports a tail. Everyone at Rob’s school is excited about an upcoming riff on the Hunger Games created by Principal Smelt: the Fun-ger Games. Rob is less excited because the principal and his mom have roped him into participating. But Katfish is sticking around to help Rob out with girl advice, Fun-ger Games tips, and how to get people to stop hating him. What could go wrong? Praise for Katfish: “Drawing from The Wimpy Kid school of adolescent humor, scenes like a drenching water balloon mishap, a food fight at the family dinner table, and a clever parody of ‘The Fun-ger Games,’ should appeal to reluctant and enthusiastic readers alike. The line drawings are reminiscent of doodles middle school boys draw when they should be taking notes. Engaging cartoons, quick dialogue in speech squares, and generous white space break up text segments, make this book an inviting, independent read.” —Children’s Literature Read the Creature in My Closet series: Wonkenstein Potterwookie Pinocula Katfish The Lord of the Hat Batneezer

  4. King Flashypants and the Creature from Crong - Something is frightening the people of Crong—something with long, sharp teeth, seven eyes, and an appetite for goats. The monster’s name is the Voolith, and it won’t stop until it has gobbled up everything in its path! When news reaches Edwinland, King Edwin decides he must cross the wilderness and defeat the Voolith in single combat. Even if he doesn’t quite know what “single combat” means. This next King Flashypants adventure has it all—jousting, evil plots, mini golf, fire-breathing toads, and hilarity at every turn.

Want to see more children's books about silly?

Books About Monsters and Rescue

Viking Myths: Volume Two book
#1
Viking Myths: Volume Two
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Journey to the frozen north for this second spellbinding anthology of Viking myths! Enter the world of Norse mythology, where you’ll find sea monsters, shape-changers, dark forests, and cunning, gold-hoarding underground dwarves. This second volume of Viking tales features more fantastical, entrancing adventures, including Thor’s journey in the land of the giants, and Ragnarok, the apocalyptic battle of the gods, retold in a way that will engage very young readers. Different illustrators bring their distinctive styles to each story.

Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish book
#2
Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Written by Mo O'Hara and illustrated by Marek Jagucki
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In the first of two stories, zombie goldfish Frankie is good at saving the day, but the medieval day reenactment joust may be too much, and in the second story, Tom’s evil brother clones a Jurassic carp, putting the school in danger.

The Werewolf Bully book
#3
The Werewolf Bully
Written by Blake Hoena and illustrated by Dave Bardin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When the Moon is full Frankenstein Elementary is disrupted by Harriet the werewolf and her gang of were-bullies, and tonight they have a new target, a mummy (who is actually a human boy wrapped in toilet paper)—so Brian the zombie and his monster friends come up with a plan to protect the human boy and defeat the bullies.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Treasure of the Golden Skull - Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realize being apart and somewhere else could be even worse! What starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He’s really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe…) Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day – and the school – once more?

  2. Twist - A group of gifted kids must band together to save their town and a fantasy world from horror-story monsters come to life in this imaginative middle-grade novel. Eli has a dream. He’s going to be the next Stephen King, and he’s just created his best monster yet! Neha has a secret. Her notebook is filled with drawings of a fantasy world called Forest Creeks, and it’s become inhabited by wonderful imaginary creatures. But her new friends are in danger . . . Court has a gift, both for finding trouble and for stopping it. And when she accidentally ends up with one of Neha’s drawings, she quickly realizes that the monsters raiding Forest Creeks are coming from Eli’s stories. When these three creative kids come together, they accidentally create a doorway from Forest Creeks into the real world, and now every monster that Eli ever imagined has been unleashed upon their town!

  3. Beet Juice Buddies - Mina the vampire and her family are on vacation in Transylvania, and Mina has two problems—she has to conceal the fact that she prefers beet juice to blood when she meets great-great-great grandpa Drac, and she needs to rescue a group of tourists who do not realize that they are on the dinner menu.

  4. How to Knit a Monster - Greta the goat is a wonderfully accomplished knitter. She can even knit little goats and turn them loose to play around her feet. But when she gets distracted from her knitting, threatening creatures spring from her needles, each more menacing than the last. It takes quick thinking, courage, and brilliant knitting for Greta to find her way out of a perilous situation. In this whimsical story, creativity and craft empower our heroine to restore her safety . . . as long as she pays attention to what is growing on her knitting needles!

Want to see more children's books about rescue?

Books About Monsters and Facing Fears

Thank You for Being My Friend book
#1
Thank You for Being My Friend
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Gill McLean
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Cleo is a toy horse all alone in a new house! There’s no such thing as monsters, is there? This picture book makes a great bedtime story for children of all ages to share in Cleo’s fear of the dark and her joy in finding a new friend. This book’s whimsical illustrations and simple text make it ideal for beginning readers.

Harriet's Monster Diary book
#2
Harriet's Monster Diary
Written by S.E. Abramson and Raun Melmed and illustrated by Arief
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Harriet, a lovable monster who is just sick at the thought of giving a report in front of her class! Her heart pounds, her chest gets tight, and her stomach twists in painful knots. She can’t even bear to get started on it! What is she going to do?

In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Harriet’s Monster Diary: Awful Anxiety (But I Squish It, Big Time). Using the “furmometer” and ST4 techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Harriet’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to monitor how they feel and respond to stressful situations. Harriet’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle her delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that stressed kids will want to calm down to read!

Harriet’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

Frankenbunny book
#3
Frankenbunny
Written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Alice Brereton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Spencer the bunny’s older brothers frighten him with stories about Frankenbunny and other monsters until Spencer figures out how to overcome his fears and his brothers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King - Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone—carried into another realm by an ogre. When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive. Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters—as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below. But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king! Ben Hatke, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Zita the Spacegirl, concludes his latest middle-grade fantasy-adventure graphic novel series, Mighty Jack, with the energetic finale to his retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

  2. The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra - With its hilarious dialogue, trio of bumbling goats, and fantastically zany villain, this unique, laugh-out-loud story based on a legendary monster is sure to crack up kids and grown-ups alike. Like most goats, Jayna, Bumsie, and Pep’s greatest fear is being eaten for dinner by the legendary chupacabra—it’s common knowledge that goats are a chupacabra’s favorite food! One night, tired of living in fear, the impetuous goats whip out their trusty candelabra and head off to find the beast and scare it away before it can find them. Little do they know that candelabras are the chupacabra’s third-favorite food . . . and he isn’t about to stop there. This chupacabra has quite the appetite, and the goats are in for a big surprise!

  3. Tooth Monsters - The young girl at the centre of this charming and quirkily-illustrated story hates brushing her teeth and is terrified of the dentist; as far as she’s concerned, there’s no scarier monster. But when she meets a real monster in her bathroom, she learns how dentists are really heroes and brushing your teeth is very important - so important that even monsters do it!This inventive picture book is brimming with humour and imagination. Parent and child will love to read along together over and over again.

  4. Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed - Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. knows there’s no such thing as monsters. Mother and Daddy even said so. But then why is there monster drool on Junie B.’s pillow? Oh, no! What if Paulie Allen Puffer is right—what if she really does have a monster under her bed? If Junie B. goes to sleep, the monster might see her feet hanging down. And he might think her piggy toes are yummy little wiener sausages!

Want to see more children's books about facing fears?

Books About Monsters and Heroes

Dionysus and the Land of Beasts book
#1
Dionysus and the Land of Beasts
Written by Tracey West and illustrated by Craig Phillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and his friends discover another Olympian who might be able to help in their quest to defeat King Cronus in this Heroes in Training adventure.

With a clue from their trusty oracle, Pythia, Zeus and his Olympian friends are off to the “Land of Grapes,” where they discover a festival. The headline act is Dion and the Goat Guys, and Zeus has a funny feeling this Dion guy might be one of them. Athena points out that this Dion guy is the right age, and he’s definitely not acting like a regular kid. Finally, Dion and the Goat Guys take a break, and Zeus and the other Olympians approach him.

Zeus informs him that he and the others are Olympians, and they think Dion might be one too. Dion (short for Dionysus, he tells them) starts to brag that he wouldn’t be surprised, because he has awesome talents and magic powers. Before the Olympians can ask him about his powers, some of the crowd members start to throng the Olympians. Are they really Olympians? Are they really going to defeat King Cronus? Dion looks kind of peeved about this, and the next thing the Olympians know, they are in a field somewhere, puzzled and not sure what happened.

What kind of magical powers does this Dion kid actually have? And will he be more of a help—or a pain—in their ultimate quest to defeat King Cronus once and for all?

Zeus and the Dreadful Dragon book
#2
Zeus and the Dreadful Dragon
Written by Tracey West and illustrated by Craig Phillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and his friends try to free Briar, Kottos, and Gyes from Tartarus so they can finally beat Cronus once and for all in this Heroes in Training adventure. The fourteen Olympians and Ron are headed toward Olympus. Ron is telling them the rumors that the Titans have all escaped Tartarus and are gearing up with Cronus for a final battle with the Olympians. When they reach the sea, Oceanus attacks them by surprise. They are almost washed away by a tidal wave when mysterious woman appears and saves them. It is Gaia, the wife of Uranus—and grandmother to Zeus and most of the Olympians. Gaia is on the side of the Olympians, partly because she believes that they will be better for the planet than Cronus, but also because she is angry with her son. He has imprisoned his three brothers: Briar, Kottos, and Gyes. She says if the Olympians free them from Tartarus, they will help the Olympians defeat Cronus. But can the three brothers be trusted? And can the Olympians defeat Cronus once and for all?

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party book
#3
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
Written by Dean Hale and Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate. Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Princess in Black - Hiding her secret identity as a monster-fighting superhero, Princess Magnolia interrupts her fancy tea with the unsuspecting Duchess Wigtower to stop a big blue monster from endangering her kingdom’s goats. By the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy.

  2. Trojan Horse Power - Nobody told Odysseus about the monster truck competition in Troy, but when he tries to join the fun he finds that hero ThunderTrucks are not allowed in—but Odysseus comes up with a clever plan to get past the dump truck cards and enter the contest.

  3. The Dragon's Hoard - Eleven amazing stories from the Viking Sagas, packed with warriors and battles, heroes and heroines, Berserkers, monsters and zombies. AND LOTS OF MAGIC. Stories include: The Dragon’s Hoard The Swan Warrior The Berserker’s Baby Tusker versus the Earl The Bear in Chains The Raven Banner The Boy in the Bones Sailing to America The Zombie on the Roof Hunting Magnus Odin’s Riddles

Want to see more children's books about heroes?

Books About Monsters and Siblings

Marvin's Monster Diary book
#1
Marvin's Monster Diary
Written by Annette Sexton and Raun Melmed and illustrated by Jeff Harvey
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Meet Marvin, a lovable monster with a twelve-stringed baby fang guitar, a rambunctious case of ADHD, and a diary to record it all. His teachers scold him, his parents don’t know what to do with him, and his sister is convinced he was raised by triple-tailed monkeys. In short, Marvin’s life is feeling out of controle until a secret formula changes everything. In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Marvin’s Monster Diary: ADHD Attacks! (And I Win, Big Time). Using the “monstercam” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Marvin’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to be mindful, observe their surroundings, and take time to think about their actions. Marvin’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book on ADHD that kids will actually want to read! Marvin’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.

Oddity book
#2
Oddity
Written by Sarah Cannon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Join a tough eleven-year-old as she faces down zombie rabbits, alien mobs, and Puppet Cartels while trying to find her missing twin in Sarah Cannon’s imaginative middle-grade debut, Oddity. Welcome to Oddity, New Mexico, where normal is odd and odd is normal. Ada Roundtree is no stranger to dodging carnivorous dumpsters, distracting zombie rabbits with marshmallows, and instigating games of alien punkball. But things haven’t been the same since her twin sister, Pearl, won the town’s yearly Sweepstakes and disappeared . . . Along with her best friend, Raymond, and new-kid-from-Chicago Cayden (whose inability to accept being locked in the gym with live leopards is honestly quite laughable), Ada leads a self-given quest to discover Oddity’s secrets, even evading the invisible Blurmonster terrorizing the outskirts of town. But one of their missions goes sideways, revealing something hinky with the Sweepstakes . . . and Ada can’t let it go. Because, if the Sweepstakes is bad, then what happened to Pearl? Praise for Oddity: “I’ve never read anything like this wonderful book. An infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters have a story they want to share with you, and they’re going by the name Sarah Cannon so as to be inconspicuous. Do yourself a favor and take Oddity from their little monkey fingers.” —Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday “This book grabbed me from page one. Wild, whacky, and yet utterly believable. You will love Ada and ODDITY!” —Sage Blackwood, author of Jinx “Sarah Cannon is puppet master of this delightfully dark and hilariously creepy debut. Herein, you’ll find excitement, adventure, and heart—and I don’t just mean the kind you’d be likely to discover, still beating (perhaps even beatboxing), in a jar at the local Oddity grocery.” —Heidi Schulz, New York Times Bestselling author of Hook’s Revenge “Readers will be hooked from the first page. . . . Like Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Cannon’s work takes a sardonic tone, blending humor, darkness, suspense, and the enduring metaphorical battle of good vs. evil. . . . Featuring a diverse cast of characters, this fantasy is chock-full of adventure and agency, making it a must-buy and a must-read for most middle graders.” —School Library Journal “Utterly endearing. A charming, enjoyable thrill ride with memorable characters, crazy creatures, and a theme about the importance of family.” —Booklist “This blend of the absurd and the supernatural is perfect for the imaginative young reader who appreciates eerie occurrences and a little wicked puppetry but isn’t quite ready for the button-eyed beldam in Coraline.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Zombie Tag book
#3
Zombie Tag
Written by Hannah Moskowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Wil is desperate for his older brother to come back from the dead. But the thing about zombies is . . they don’t exactly make the best siblings. Thirteen-year-old Wil Lowenstein copes with his brother’s death by focusing on Zombie Tag, a mafia/ capture the flag hybrid game where he and his friends fight off brain-eating zombies with their mothers’ spatulas. What Wil doesn’t tell anybody is that if he could bring his dead brother back as a zombie, he would in a heartbeat. But when Wil finds a way to summon all the dead within five miles, he’s surprised to discover that his back-from-the-dead brother is emotionless and distant. In her first novel for younger readers, Moskowitz offers a funny and heartfelt look at how one boy deals with change, loss, and the complicated relationship between brothers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. JP and the Stinky Monster - JP is excited to spend the day with Grandma, but his plans are derailed by the arrival of an unwanted, monstrous guest—a baby! This strange and stinky creature requires lots of Grandma’s attention, and JP begins to worry that she will have no time to play with him. As JP’s imagination runs wild, his jealousy builds. Will JP realize the day is better spent shared?

  2. Boggart Fights Back - The Boggart is back for a new adventure filled with magic and mayhem from Newbery winner Susan Cooper. Magic is in the air when Allie and Jay Cameron visit their ancestors’ ancient Castle Keep in Scotland, tucked in its unspoiled loch. The twins wake the mischievous shape-shifting Boggart and his infamous cousin Nessie, of Loch Ness fame. But a summer of fun-loving trickery with the Old Things is invaded by a dangerous real estate developer called William Trout. Trout has big plans for a luxury resort on the loch, and little regard for its people or the law. Bulldozers get to work. The future of the loch, its seals, and all its beauty are threatened. The twins and Angus Cameron, their grandfather, mobilize to save his shop and the loch, but it’s soon clear they will need help of a different sort… In a race against time, the Boggarts recruit help from other Old Things of Scotland: hair-raising creatures of the Wild Magic. But are the Blue Men of the Minch and the Nuckelavee too terrifying for humans to handle? How can they drive out the invader? What’s certain is that Mr. Trout is in for a wild ride in this comical, page-turning adventure from Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper.

Want to see more children's books about siblings?

Books About Monsters and Counting

One Hungry Monster book
#1
One Hungry Monster
Written by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

It is bedtime and one small boy tries to control ten insatiable monsters as they demand food and create chaos throughout the house.

Hush Now, Banshee! book
#2
Hush Now, Banshee!
Written by Kyle Sullivan and illustrated by Derek Sullivan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

Join Banshee as she discovers the virtues of quiet time in the noisiest counting book in the land.Everyone is enjoying quiet time, but little Banshee just wants to have fun the only way she knows how: Loudly. Join Banshee as she counts her way through the Irish landscape in the noisiest counting book in the land. It’s gonna be a blast: You can count on it.

Dining With... Monsters! book
#3
Dining With... Monsters!
Written and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-10

What do hungry monsters like to eat? 1 spider swallowed whole, 2 leaping frogs, and “3 entire whales” for the ogre with gigantic claws and scales! Kids will enjoy this fun feast of a counting book, with 10 colorful creatures and their meals of grasshoppers, scorpions, owls, and prickly porcupines. Foldout pages and simple, humorous rhyming text make this a delight to read aloud.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hungry, Hungry Monsters - Hungry, hungry monsters love eating…and counting to ten! What do hungry monsters like to eat? Some prefer one spider swallowed whole while others like three entire whales! And for the monster called Mr. One-Eye? He thinks four mice are very nice! Kids will enjoy this fun feast of a counting book, with 10 colorful creatures and their meals of grasshoppers, scorpions, owls, and prickly porcupines. Fold-out pages and simple, humorous rhyming text make this a delight to read aloud.

  2. One Little Monster - In graphic artist and designer Mark Gonyea’s clever counting book, a little boy snuggles in for a nap, but much to his surprise, silly little monsters pop up wherever he looks. First there’s one at the window, then two appear when he blinks, and three pop out when one of the monsters sneezes. Before he knows it, there are ten kooky creatures in his room. But will the little boy find a way to outsmart those pesky pests?

Want to see more children's books about counting?

Epilogue

14 books that are just too good to leave off of our monsters list.

  1. Don't Push the Button! - Readerly Mom - This book is a lot of fun to read together—especially if you’re willing to really ham it up. Reminiscent of Herve Tullet’s Press Here or Mo Willems’s Pigeon books, Don’t Push the Button! is interactive enough to engage my one-year-old and three-year-old daughters and silly enough to incite a fit of giggles every time we read it. I also like that it’s concise and snappy, making it a good choice for bedtime or reading a few times in a row on repeat.

  2. This Monster Needs a Haircut - The Book Snob Mom - This is a great book for kiddos who are a little nervous about getting a haircut for whatever reason. It’s humorous and far enough removed from a normal hair-cut nervousness situation (unless YOUR child is most concerned about still being able to scare giraffes…) to suggest that getting a haircut could be a good thing without it feeling personal, and the story is cute too!

  3. Some Monsters Are Different - Readerly Mom - This book has cute illustrations, simple text, and an important message: everyone is different, and that’s great. It’s an easy way to facilitate conversations about accepting and appreciating differences in ourselves and those around us.

  4. Sweep - In nineteenth-century England, after her father’s disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a “climbing boy,” aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.

  1. Monsters Do Not Eat Broccoli - Illustrations and rhyming text reveal how imagination can spice up even the healthiest meal.

  2. Monster ABC - Whimsical illustrations combine with cheeky verses in this quirky, hilarious alphabet board book featuring monsters from all over the world.Featuring tongue-in-cheek humor for adults and unhinged delight for kids, this alphabet book is full of silly monster fun from Alien to Zombie. Whimsical illustrations combined with winky verses add levity throughout, making this the perfect book to make you the coolest mom, dad, aunt or uncle ever. Monster ABC covers the full monster spectrum: Some are well-known (e.g., Alien, Ghost, Zombie), some are regional favorites (e.g., Jersey Devil, Sasquatch) and some come with a passport (e.g., Banshee, Krampus, Quetzalcoatl). These gorgeously quirky monsters and silly verses will prove there’s nothing to fear.

  3. Go Away, Big Green Monster! - Caldecott Award-winning author-artist Ed Emberley has created an ingenious way for children to chase away their nighttime fears. Kids can turn the pages of this die-cut book and watch the Big Green Monster grow. Then, when they’re ready to show him who’s in charge, they’ll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear! This lavish reissue features dramatic die-cut eyes and sparkling foil on the cover.

  4. The Sea of Monsters - When Camp Half-Blood, the only safe haven for demigods, comes close to being overrun by mythological monsters, Percy must find his best friend Grover, who is prisoner on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and then set out to save the Camp.

  1. Fablehaven - When Kendra and Seth go to stay at their grandparents’ estate, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming.

  2. The Odyssey - BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature, and little ones will love The Odyssey: A BabyLit® Monsters Primer. Monsters don’t have to be scary; meet ten monsters from Odysseus’ epic journey home, illustrated in funny, friendly ways. Featuring moaning, groaning ghosts; a silly Cyclops; goofy lotus eaters; and two colorful sea monsters. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. Collect all twenty-four classic literature-inspired BabyLit® primers!

  3. The Monster Princess - Deep in a cave there’s a story, it seems, of a sweet little monster with very big dreams. She wished she was pretty. She wished she could dance. She wished to be special…and this was her chance.

  4. Max the Brave - Max the Brave is a brilliant new picture book from Ed Vere. This is Max. Max the Brave, Max the Fearless, Max the Mouse-catcher… But, in order to be a Mouse-catcher, Max needs to know what a mouse is, so off he goes to find out. This hilarious new picture book from the phenomenally-talented Ed Vere introduces a new and lovable character, with Ed’s trademark bold illustrations and clever story. Other Ed Vere titles to look out for: Banana; Bedtime for Monsters; Mr. Big; The Getaway Ed Vere studied fine art at Camberwell College of Art and has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1999. He is published in both England and the US. Ed is also a painter, working from his studio in east London and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. After a year and a half living in Barcelona, Ed now lives and works in London.

  1. The Wall in the Middle of the Book - A knight who feels secure on his side of the wall that divides his book discovers that his side is not as safe as he thought, and the other side is not as threatening.

  2. Bedtime for Monsters - Bedtime for Monsters is Ed Vere’s hilarious monsterish tale - with a big twist! What if a monster were looking for a bedtime snack? And what if that snack just happened to be you? GULP! He’s getting closer and closer . . . and his tummy is rumbling REALLY loudly. You’d be very scared! BUT all this monster actually wants is a lovely monster-sized goodnight kiss. Night, night!

Did you enjoy our monsters book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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