49 Books About Monsters Your Kids Will Actually Like

Updated Apr. 6, 2019

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!

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.

In the forty years since Max first cried "Let the wild rumpus start," Maurice Sendak's classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's books of all time. Now, in celebration of this special anniversary, introduce a new generation to Max's imaginative journey to where the wild things are.

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.

The Monsters' Monster book
#5
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
#6
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.

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#7
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 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.

The Gruffalo book
#9
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. . . .

Monster & Son book
#10
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.

Don't Push the Button! book
#11
Don't Push the Button!
Written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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.

The only rule in Larry's book is that the reader not push the button, but when no one is looking, it may be irresistible.

Inkheart book
#12
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?

This Monster Needs a Haircut book
#13
This Monster Needs a Haircut
Written and illustrated by Bethany Barton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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!

Introducing a lovable monster with a hairy problem Stewart is a monster. He has wild, crazy, messy hair that's perfect for scaring, collecting spiders, and hiding after-school treats. But when Stewart's hair grows so long that things start getting lost in it, his parents decide it's time to intervene. Stewart disagrees. His hair is awesome! But when Stewart's hair keeps him from doing his very favorite thing, he realizes it might be time to reconsider. With slyly funny text and uproarious illustrations, this humorous account of a much-feared experience is a must-have for every monster—and every child, too.

Some Monsters Are Different book
#14
Some Monsters Are Different
Written and illustrated by David Milgrim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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.

Monsters celebrate their individuality.

Go Away, Big Green Monster! book
#15
Go Away, Big Green Monster!
Written and illustrated by Ed Emberley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Monsters Do Not Eat Broccoli book
#16
Monsters Do Not Eat Broccoli
Written by Barbara Jean Hicks and illustrated by Sue Hendra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Illustrations and rhyming text reveal how imagination can spice up even the healthiest meal.

The Wall in the Middle of the Book book
#17
The Wall in the Middle of the Book
Written and illustrated by Jon Agee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Max the Brave book
#18
Max the Brave
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

I Will Chomp You! book
#19
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 Need My Monster book
#20
I Need My Monster
Written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child's love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child's imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: "Gone fishing. Back in a week." Ethan knows that without Gabe's familiar nightly scares he doesn't stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they've got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn't enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.

Get Dressed, Sasquatch! book
#21
Get Dressed, Sasquatch!
Written by Kyle Sullivan and illustrated by Derek Sullivan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-7

The fun is au naturel when a rule-touting ranger dares to ask Sasquatch to put some clothes on.In the Pacific Northwest, the trees are always green, the eagles are always stern and Sasquatch is always, well, naked. But what happens when a rule-touting ranger shows up to ask Sasquatch to put some clothes on? Find out in this story of mountainous fun and evergreen hilarity.

I Loathe You book
#22
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.

I Will Fight Monsters for You book
#23
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!

The Big Red Rock book
#24
The Big Red Rock
Written and illustrated by Jess Stockham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When Bif finds a big red rock blocking his way, he decides it has to go. But how? Nothing he tries will move it. Bif's friend Bop knows some monsters who might be able to help. When none of their ingenious methods work, they all have to decide what to do next - with surprising results! A simple and comic tale about teamwork and problem solving.

The Giant of Jum book
#25
The Giant of Jum
Written by Elli Woollard and illustrated by Benji Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Giant of Jum is feeling a bit munchy. "Fee!" he says, and "Fi!" he says, and "Fo!" he says and "Fum!" And off he goes, in search of that sweet snack of a boy named Jack. On his hunt, he ll meet children of all sorts. But before he can gobble them up, he finds himself waylaid by pleas for help. What's a hungry giant to do? Bright illustrations and sweet characters bring this fun and funny story to life a wonderful read-aloud with a chorus everyone will want to shout out together!"

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!