The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide

( 1 )


Dear Traveler:

Say you're sailing in the south,
Or hiking in the east.
Your holiday's delightful --
Till you meet a pesky beast.


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Dear Traveler:

Say you're sailing in the south,
Or hiking in the east.
Your holiday's delightful --
Till you meet a pesky beast.

What now?
Should you ignore it?
Offer presents?
Run and hide?

Don't make a costly blunder --
Take our handy monster guide!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In vivid rhyme, Ashman (Rub-a-Dub Sub) leads readers on a round-the-world tour of mythical beasts and folkloric frights. A verse introduces each, and a faux-factoid box explains its origins and other matters of interest. There are the Hotots, whose "shoes ooze with swamp-puddle goos" (more soberly defined in the faux-factoid as "evil spirits found in Armenian swamps and rivers"); Ravana, a demon from India with 10 heads and 20 arms; and the North American snowy Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot. Ashman sets up the book as a helpful travel guide ("Guaranteed-some day, some place-/ You'll meet a monster face-to-face./ Don't destroy a great vacation-/ Arm yourself with information!") and offers advice on how to handle the "monster" ("Be careful near Loch Ness./ Don't wander off, oblivious./ Nessie likes the water,/ But she just might be amphibious"). Caldecott medalist Small's (So You Want to Be President?) sly pen-and-inks present three travelers-a girl in safari clothes and pith helmet, her younger brother and an expressive basset hound. The trio begins their voyage in a hot-air balloon piloted by a snobbish sort in early-aviator get-up. Small finds plentiful occasions to poke fun. His Domovik, for example, an irritable Russian house spirit, uncannily resembles Stalin; he draws the Sirens as three gruesome torch singers with a toga-clad backup band. For kids with active imaginations, this clever book takes the bite out of things that go bump in the night. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Two young travelers and their dog set off in a balloon with their intrepid helmeted, scarfed, and leather-jacketed pilot, to circle the globe. Their journey is charted on a map on the front end-papers, with the thirteen stops marked. For each, Ashman has written this guide in verse describing the mythical monster encountered there. A brief note details the "facts" about the beast below the double-page illustration and the poem. Some of the creatures are unfamiliar; others like trolls, sirens, Sasquatch, and the Loch Ness monster are not. The wry humor of the rhymes is matched by Small's somewhat sketchy watercolors which portray the "monsters" with touches of landscape along with the explorers' encounters: they ride a snowmobile to visit the Sasquatch, a reindeer sled for the adlet, and cover their ears against the song of the sirens. The fun continues through the end-papers with an ending not mentioned in the text. 2003, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
With David Small's vividly illustrated creatures rising from every inhabited continent, eager students will track the large and the small to their mythic roots. When it's Halloween season, teach students about these legendary monsters. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best, Ashman profiles 13 magical creatures from as many parts of the world. Not all are big, or even malign; the ant-sized Abatwa of southern Africa, for instance, are not so much dangerous as in danger from the shoes of heedless passersby. Still, the canny visitor will want to watch out for the likes of India's 20-armed Ravana, the Inuits' man-eating Adlet, and, of course, the Loch Ness Monster. Small links the creatures into a tour, sending two children and an attentive basset hound around the world in a balloon. Gifted caricaturist that he is, he renders the Sirens as a tightly-coiffed girl group, the easily irritated Russian Domovik sprite as a diminutive Stalin, and even slips in a self-portrait as a tourist about to have an unfortunate run-in with a troll. There's no Yeti in the portrait gallery, but its North American counterpart, Sasquatch, takes a star turn as a diaphanous figure rearing up to snatch the clothes from passing skiers. As both a surefire read-aloud and a heads-up for prospective young travelers, this can't be beat. (Poetry. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442414365
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of a number of picture books, including The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide, illustrated by David Small; Babies on the Go, illustrated by Jane Dyer; and Sailing off to Sleep, illustrated by Susan Winter. She and her family live in Denver, Colorado.

David Small is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. He received a Caldecott Honor medal for The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. He has also illustrated many other beloved picture books, which include The Library and The Journey, both by Sarah Stewart, and Imogene’s Antlers, which he also wrote. He lives in Michigan with his wife, Sarah Stewart.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012


    My 4th- and 2nd-grade daughters refused to give this back to the library until we had maxed out our allowable check-outs. Great for your family if your children love adventure and mythology, but give it a quick read-through before you give it to them. Some scary illustrations. Some discussion of world religions.

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