Monsters on Machines

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Meet Stinky Stubb, Dirty Dugg, Gorbert, and Melvina, the craftiest crew of monsters ever to build a house. With hard hats and heavy machinery, these feisty fellas dig, dump, hammer, nail, and—after a surprise lunch of Mama’s special monsteroni and cheese—they even squeeze in time for an afternoon snooze.
          With backhoes, bulldozers, and mud mounds galore, here is a book that young ...

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Overview

Meet Stinky Stubb, Dirty Dugg, Gorbert, and Melvina, the craftiest crew of monsters ever to build a house. With hard hats and heavy machinery, these feisty fellas dig, dump, hammer, nail, and—after a surprise lunch of Mama’s special monsteroni and cheese—they even squeeze in time for an afternoon snooze.
          With backhoes, bulldozers, and mud mounds galore, here is a book that young construction enthusiasts will want to dig into over and over again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lund's (Dinosailors) rhyming story, about a team of ghoulish monsters who ride bulldozers and cranes, has just about everything a child could hope for, from fantastical characters to vehicles, from muck and mud to screams and shouts to "monsteroni and cheese." The plot is uncomplicated-a crew of monsters builds a "Custom Prehaunted" house and then cleans up-and relayed with plenty of brio: "Foreman Gorbert stomps over. He's huge and he's hairy./ He grunts out the orders and adds, "Make it scary!" Neubecker's (Wow! School!) bright, digitally colored full-bleed pictures of the workmonsters-Dirty Dugg, Stinky Stubb, Gorbert and Melvina-are reminiscent of Maurice Sendak's Wild Things, but rendered in an electric palette. A monster mama serves lunch, reads a story and oversees naptime, then withdraws: this quartet, apparently, doesn't view tidying up as fiendish ("Without too much whining, they each do their share"). The fun extends to the endpapers, which feature monsters in construction machines. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Deb Lund combines the interests in monsters and machines often shown by preschoolers, particularly boys. The rhymed couplets are a lively description of action in the work place as the monsters get to work. "Flinging dirt like tornadoes, they holler and hoot! / (Monsters love getting grimy from hard hat to boot. / They're transformed by the tractor, the crawler, the paver. But bulldozers bring out true monster behavior." Toward the end of the story, when the crew is summoned to lunch and a nap by Mama Monster, we can see that this construction crew is engaging in preschool fantasy play. Neubecker's illustrations make it clear that the construction crew is gender equal with fanged red headed boys and a three-eyed green girl among others. Children may pore over the end pages which illustrate a mix of real and monster construction machines such as a crane, cement mixer, ghostgrader, and fiend Grubber. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

The first half of this rhyming picture book follows a group of gnarly monsters as they hop on various construction machines, working to build a "frightfully fine" haunted house. Break time reveals these rough-and-ready beasts are children when monster mom brings lunch, reads a story, and puts them down for a nap, complete with "blankies." Awake once more, the builders install a lawn, sidewalks, and a road in time for a monster family to move in. The India-ink drawings colored digitally in neon-bright hues exude a jazzy, busy look that brings to life the chaos that results when monsters and machines meet. Each pop-eyed character (three boys and one girl) is a different color and has a unique look-hair, horns, ears, and eyes-for readers to delight in. The endpapers sport almost two dozen monstrous machines to drool over.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI

Kirkus Reviews
A beastly construction crew erects a behemoth of a building, in verse! Neubecker's petite monsters look like refugees from Maurice Sendak, with pointed hair, ears and teeth. Despite being pint-sized, they maneuver the heavy machinery with aplomb. Hairy blue Gorbert is the foreman, flame-haired Stinky Stubb acts as the mechanic, Dirty Dugg mounts the backhoe and green Melvina (who has three eyes) attacks all the muck with the front loader. The building they construct rises ever-so-tall into the sky in a riot of color, a cross between a castle, a mosque and a haunted house. Famished from their efforts, the monsters devour a big witches' pot of "Monsteroni and cheese." Lund's rhyming text feels a bit forced, but the juicy illustrations, done in India ink and then digitally colored, fairly pop off the page. Well-timed for Halloween, but with no specific mention of the holiday, it can be used-and will be enthusiastically welcomed-year-round. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152053659
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

DEB LUND has written several celebrated books for children. She lives on Washington State’s Whidbey Island.
 
ROBERT NEUBECKER’s acclaimed picture books include Wow! School!, Wow! America!, Wow! City!, and Courage of the Blue Boy. He lives in Park City, Utah.
 

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