Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to non-scary monsters. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about non-scary monsters.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about non-scary monsters, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Goodnight Goon to popular sellers like The Gruffalo to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Monsters’ Monster.
We hope this list of kids books about non-scary monsters can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
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.
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!
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.
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. . . .
A feisty little girl learns who the real monsters are in this brilliantly funny medieval adventure.
Once, there lived a little girl called Bo. Bo wanted to be just like her brothers and capture a fearsome monster. Bo is small, too small to catch a monster―or so her brothers say. But Bo isn’t one to take no for an answer, so she sets off on a quest to catch a monster of her own. Can she defeat the furious griffin, conquer the hideous kraken, and triumph over the monstrous dragon? Or has Bo got the wrong idea who the real monsters are?
Author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin, the creator of the New York Times Best Illustrated Little Red, employs her signature style in this original fairy tale with a clever twist. Readers are sure to fall in love with Woollvin’s newest vibrant and sassy protagonist.
How I Met My Monster - One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. With its perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this silly-spooky prequel to the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! will keep young readers entertained.
Do Not Go in There - Do Not Go in There! is an encouraging picture book from debut author Ariel Horn and illustrator Izzy Burton that highlights the power of imagination while touching on themes of anxiety, curiosity, and bravery. Monsters Morton and Bogart are best friends. But they don’t always see eye to eye. So when they encounter a closed door, anxious Bogart wants to keep it closed, because there must be something really bad on the other side. But Morton thinks it’ll be something amazing! Which is it? Through bright, expressive illustrations, readers learn that, while not knowing can be frightening, being brave can lead to new discoveries. And even though your imagination can make it easy to worry, it can also make life better, less scary, and more fun. An Imprint Book
I Need My Monster - 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.
Quit Calling Me a Monster! - A young monster resents being called a monster.
Shake, wiggle, and tickle the monster out of this book—an interactive bedtime read-aloud by a YouTube star, musician, and children’s book author!
With the irresistible pull of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here and the charm of The Monster at the End of This Book, Tom Fletcher’s inviting interactive read-aloud will have kids tilting, spinning, and shaking the book to get the adorable little monster out! That’s right! He’s out of the book . . . and in their room somewhere. Uh-oh!!
The co-author of the Dinosaur That Pooped series has created a monster that readers will fall in love with—and want to play with—again and again! It will get your own little monster tuckered out and snuggled in!
Tom Fletcher has a huge social-media presence, with over a million followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. His videos “Buzz and the Dandelions” and “My Wedding Speech” went viral and have been viewed tens of millions of times all over the world.
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?
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.
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.
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!
Monster Mayhem - Jeremy and Justin are twins, but they couldn’t be any more different from each other. Jeremy is a risk taker who likes to get his hands dirty; Justin prefers to read, focus, and get all his facts straight before jumping in. But they do have one important thing in common- They both love video games. When Jeremy wins a cereal-box charm that brings his favorite video game to life, villains and all, he finds that he’s in way over his head. Justin knows everything there is to know about the rules of the game-he read the handbook, of course-and Jeremy isn’t afraid to try new things. Can these two mismatched brothers work together to beat the video game that has become their life?
The Monster Next Door - In a big field, a boy has a tree house, and one day, he has a neighbor—a monster with a talent for silly dances and funny faces. The two become fast friends, even setting up a pulley line to pass notes between their tree houses. The boy knows just how to celebrate this invention—with music! But the monster’s tuba music is loud. Really loud. WAY. TOO. LOUD. Before the boy can think, he hurls a water balloon at his neighbor to get him to stop. An epic water-balloon fight ensues, until the boy—fed up, spent, done—cuts the pulley line. No more note-passing. No more monster. Can the boy and monster ever be friends again? Does the boy even want to? Maybe he just needs to see things from a new, unexpected perspective.
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.
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.