From the Publisher
"Dramatic in perspective, McWilliam's exaggerated, digitally colored art renders the monsters in a spectrum of neon hues and outlandish shapes. The collaborators ably balance some bedtime chills with humor, and Ethan's enthusiasm for his monster should prove infectious." Publishers Weekly
"A fun nighttime read for those who enjoy a bit of shiver as they are tucked in to bed . . . a great read-aloud for a slightly older audience at a night-themed story hour." School Library Journal
"Noll turns the tables on monster fears by introducing readers to Ethan, a little boy who can’t fall asleep without the ragged breathing and claw-scratching of his favorite monster, Gabe." Booklist
"A clever anxiety-defuser and an unusually well done double-debut." Kirkus Reviews
"A perfect read-aloud for squirmy youngsters, especially boys . . . exquisitely creepy, perfect for. . . all monster-lovers." The Sacramento Bee
"Between the simple hilarity of the story itself and the amazing, gorgeous illustrations, I Need My Monster is a brilliant piece of picture book work." A Patchwork of Books
"A must read for any discerning monster lover. A perfect bedtime companion. I'm keeping one copy on the nightstand, and one under the bed!" Edward Hemingway, author, Bump in the Night
"The same kids who loved Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls are sure to appreciate I Need My Monster too. Highly recommended." Monster Librarian.com
This debut picture book for both author and illustrator offers a droll take on the monster-under-the-bed theme. Ethan is distressed when he peers under the mattress for his monster but finds only a note: "Gone fishing. Back in a week." How can he fall asleep without Gabe's "ragged breathing. His nose-whistling. The scrabbling of his uncut claws" and the "spooky green ooze" he emits? Concluding that he needs a substitute, the bug-eyed boy knocks on the floorboards to summon one, but the beasts that appear one by one aren't sufficiently menacing ("The whole point of having a monster, after all, was to keep me in bed, imagining all the scary stuff that could happen if I got out"). Ethan engages in spry repartee with the monsters he rejects before Gabe reappears, having cut short his trip. Dramatic in perspective, McWilliam's exaggerated, digitally colored art renders the monsters in a spectrum of neon hues and outlandish shapes. The collaborators ably balance some bedtime chills with humor, and Ethan's enthusiasm for his monster should prove infectious. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It's Good to Be the Queen.com
I admit I picked up this book because of its adorable illustrations, but I assure you the story is just as cute . . . I won't spoil the ending, but it's sure to send your kiddos off to LaLa Land with a smile on their faces.
The same kids who loved Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls are sure to appreciate 'I Need My Monster,' too. Highly recommended.
The Sacramento Bee
A perfect read-aloud for squirmy youngsters, especially boys . . . exquisitely creepy, perfect for . . . all monster-lovers.
A Patchwork of Books
Between the simple hilarity of the story itself and the amazing, gorgeous illustrations, I Need My Monster is a brilliant piece of picture book work.
Noll turns the tables on monster fears by introducing readers to Ethan, a little boy who can't fall asleep without the ragged breathing and claw-scratching of his favorite monster, Gabe.
Just One More Book podcast
A really fun spin on bedtime anxiety and being afraid of being in your bed alone . . . Stunningly gorgeous.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our narrator is distressed to find a note under his bed one night. His monster Gabe has gone fishing. And he cannot possibly fall asleep without Gabe's scary noises and green ooze. Hopefully, he awaits a substitute. But Herbert, when he arrives, seems to have neither experience nor claws. Well-groomed Ralph's claws have nail polish on them. Scary claws and slimy tail cannot change the fact that Cynthia is a girl monster, not menacing enough. Mack's long tongue just makes him laugh. Fortunately, to his delight, Gabe returns, ready to do his job. McWilliam uses the end pages for scores of his drawings of monsters to set the stage. Of course the few chosen to star in this comic melodrama are fully developed in color using digital acrylic paint with pencil. The double-page scenes offer details of a young boy's bedroom lit only by a small lamp, with myriad shadows and a mysterious world under the bed. In this humorous, comically exaggerated reversal of the usual fear of monsters there is plenty of good-natured scary stuff. Gabe is refused the blanket and toes to nibble but takes the offered pillow under the bed. "Everything was back to normal. I shivered again. I'd be asleep in no time." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
When Ethan's resident "under the bed" monster named Gabe takes an unexpected vacation, a host of substitutes applies to fill in for him. However, none meet the boy's very picky requirements. Noll has great fun describing the interview process: "Do you have long teeth and scratchy claws?" Ethan asks the first candidate, Herbert. "No, but I have an overbite. And I'm a mouth breather." Ralph has the requisite claws, but he polishes them so they are not scary enough. So it goes with all the candidates, until Gabe returns home early, allowing Ethan to get a good night's sleep. The dark humor is perfectly matched to McWilliam's creepy-cute artwork. Any potential scariness in the text and art is offset by the silly details that are included, making for a fun nighttime read for those who enjoy a bit of shiver as they are tucked in to bed. This would also make a great read-aloud for a slightly older audience at a night-themed storyhour.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
Fretting that he won't be able to get to sleep with Gabe, his favorite under-the-bed monster, who has gone off on a fishing trip, a lad holds auditions for a temporary replacement. Unfortunately, the applicants are just not scary enough, despite full complements of talons, googly eyes and like monsterly accoutrements. Displaying a dab hand for accurately rendered fine detail and massy, solid-looking figures, McWilliam depicts a succession of outsize Monsters, Inc.-style creatures bulging up from beneath the young narrator's bed and then retreating grumpily after his polite rejections-until, at last, a pair of huge red eyes and "an ominous puddle of drool" signals the return of his customary bogey. "No other monster can scare me like you!" the child declares happily, and settles down for another untroubled night. A clever anxiety-defuser and an unusually well done double-debut. (Picture book. 5-8)