Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters
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Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters

by Jane Yolen, Kelly Murphy

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Beloved author Jane Yolen scares up a new rhyming read-aloud about the snarfing, growling, snoring way that monsters go to bed.

Creep, gurgle, crawl, tumble! Meet two young monsters who are far from scary - they’re too busy having fun. They go to school, play outside with their friends, and eat after-school snacks. But they also have a bedtime,

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Beloved author Jane Yolen scares up a new rhyming read-aloud about the snarfing, growling, snoring way that monsters go to bed.

Creep, gurgle, crawl, tumble! Meet two young monsters who are far from scary - they’re too busy having fun. They go to school, play outside with their friends, and eat after-school snacks. But they also have a bedtime, whether or not they’re ready for it! Young children and parents alike will find much to identify with as they follow these lovable little monsters getting ready for bed. With wildly colorful illustrations full of whimsy and warmth, Kelly Murphy brings Jane Yolen’s gently rhyming tale to rambunctious life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Swinging a few branches across the evolutionary tree, Yolen turns her attention from the misbehaving dinosaurs of the How Do Dinosaurs... series to garden-variety monsters that leave school en masse around 3 P.M. Murphy's acrylic and oil spreads feature the not-so-creepy, multicolored beasties against soft copper and aluminum backgrounds. Brandishing four eyes, two horns, tentacles, stripes or slug-like bodies, the adorably ugly monsters engage in rambunctious playground activities to the tune of a rhymed lullaby ("Monsters run,/ Monsters stumble,/ Monsters hip-hop,/ Monsters tumble"), before the story focuses on two horned, pint-size siblings returning to their comforting, candlelit cave. After they wolf down worm sandwiches, their four-eyed parent wrestles them into the tub and then into their beds, where they play the games that monsters (and children) might play in the dark ("GROWL Gurgle/ BURP Grrrr"). Their protestations finally give way to slumber, but the book is filled with enough slap-dash action, humor, and gentle disobedience to keep readers eager for more readings—and probably not all that eager for sleep. Ages 3–5. (July)
Children's Literature - Heather Welsh
Monsters aren't so very different from you and me. When they come home from school, they grab a snack and play outside. They try to make their mom forget about bath time. They say their prayers before bed, and they sneak out of bed to play until they can no longer keep their eyes open. There may be monsters with horns, fangs, and hundreds of legs on the pages of this book, but they could just as easily be happy children skipping and laughing through their day. This is one of many books written by Jane Yolen. Readers familiar with her creative and playful use of words will not be disappointed with this book. The large fonts and delightful rhyming pattern will engage emergent readers. The rhymes are on different pages, which provide an excellent opportunity to have the reader guess or recall the corresponding rhyming word. This book would also be good for helping children who are afraid of the dark. The friendly images would be a great way to talk about how monsters are harmless because they are just like us. Reviewer: Heather Welsh
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A whimsical bedtime story to share again and again. Yolen's rhythmic, sometimes repetitive verse is perfectly matched by Murphy's double-page illustrations. Children will enjoy the contrast of a familiar routine with a cast of bright-eyed and animated monsters. After making their way home from school, two monster children eat dinner, play inside, bathe, pray, and go to bed, reluctantly at first. However, their attempts to keep each other awake with funny noises and silly games eventually prove futile. Through the text and pictures, the mundane machinations are brought to life with humorous and charming details. Background colors fade from light to dark as the sun goes down, and the light at home is less bright but warmer than that of the sun. Descriptions grow shorter and more specific until the only words are the noises the youngsters make as they go to sleep. As monster stories go, this one is ultimately more sweet than scary. Pair it with James Otis Thach's The Tickle Monster Is Coming (Bloomsbury, 2008) for a storyhour or recommend it as a bedtime book. A first choice for any library serving sweet, silly little monsters.—Heather Talty, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

This brief lullaby-story provides just-right toddler-sized chills.

The action begins at 3:00 as school lets out. Yolen describes it all in rhyme with spare sentences and phrases: "Monsters creep, / Monsters crawl // Over the meadow / And up the wall." Murphy chooses a muted palette to illustrate the motley bunch of innocuous creatures sporting a horn or two, various numbers of eyes, an occasional tail or tufts of fur. Preschool monster fans are sure to pore over and giggle at Murphy's droll, detailed paintings executed in a mix of oil, acrylic and gel. They will also easily relate to the depicted routine of coming home, eating dinner, taking a bath and getting into bed, and they will be charmed rather than spooked as the text's gentle cadence begins to work a calming magic. But the monsters show a last burst of energy—of course—as they "toss and turn and bounce" before finally snuggling in for the night. Silly going-to-sleep sounds such as "Growl / Gurgle / Burp" gently bring this soon-to-be popular book to an end.

There's plenty in this scary-sweet book to please children all year round. (Picture book. 2-4)

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Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)
AD330L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen is the author of more than 300 books for children and young adults, including the Caldecott-winning Owl Moon and the New York Times best-selling How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? With Candlewick, she is the editor of three collections of poems for children: Switching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems; Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry; and This Little Piggy: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games, and Pantomime Rhymes. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Scotland.

Kelly Murphy is the illustrator of Loony Little: An Environmental Tale. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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