Best Kids Books About Monsters

29 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.

Maurice the Unbeastly book
#2
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.

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.

The Monsters' Monster book
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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.

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 Gruffalo book
#8
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
#9
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

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.

Monsters Do Not Eat Broccoli book
#10
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.

This Monster Needs a Haircut book
#11
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
#12
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
#13
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.

The Wall in the Middle of the Book book
#14
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
#15
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.

Get Dressed, Sasquatch! book
#16
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 Need My Monster book
#17
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.

The Not So Quiet Library book
#18
The Not So Quiet Library
Written and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Saturday, which means Oskar and Theodore get to go to the library with their dad! It means donuts for breakfast! And it means endless quiet hours lost in stories. But on this not so quiet Saturday, Oskar and Teddy get a rude surprise when they’re interrupted by a five-headed, hangry monster! Will Oskar ever get to finish his book in peace? Will Teddy ever get to gorge on his donuts? Or might both of them hold the secret weapons to taming the beast?

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster book
#19
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Leonardo is truly a terrible monster-terrible at being a monster that is. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn't quite as satisfying as he thought it would be. Leonardo realizes that he might be a terrible, awful monster-but he could be a really good friend.

Monster Trouble book
#20
Monster Trouble
Written by Lane Fredrickson and illustrated by Michael Robertson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Monster Needs a Party book
#21
Monster Needs a Party
Written by Paul Czajak and illustrated by Wendy Grieb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Disappointed when none of his friends can attend his pirate birthday, Monster cheers up when he goes to a pirate theme park, instead.

Monsters Love Colors book
#22
Monsters Love Colors
Written and illustrated by Mike Austin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Playful monsters combine their favorite crayons, red, yellow, and blue, to create new colors, including one never before seen.

Goodnight, Little Monster book
#23
Goodnight, Little Monster
Written by Helen Ketteman and illustrated by Bonnie Leick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Ten Little Monsters book
#24
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

My Monster Mama Loves Me So book
#25
My Monster Mama Loves Me So
Written by Laura Leuck and illustrated by Mark Buehner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

My monster mama loves me so! Let me tell you how I know: When I wake up, she tweaks my nose, tickles all my pointy toes, combs the cobwebs from my bangs, and makes sure that I brush my fangs.... At once tender and funny, this monster bedtime story is guaranteed to generate giggles, tickles, and plenty of monster hugs.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.