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Shy Creatures

Shy Creatures

5.0 1
by David Mack

What does a shy girl want to be when she grows up? A doctor, but not just any doctor—this little girl wants to care for creatures who may seem intimidating, but are really very shy, just like she is.

David Mack’s extraordinary picture book debut is perfect to read aloud with creatures little and big, shy and outgoing, who believe in the magic of


What does a shy girl want to be when she grows up? A doctor, but not just any doctor—this little girl wants to care for creatures who may seem intimidating, but are really very shy, just like she is.

David Mack’s extraordinary picture book debut is perfect to read aloud with creatures little and big, shy and outgoing, who believe in the magic of imagination.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Shy Creatures:


Kabuki’s David Mack

Certainly has the knack

When it comes to the paint and a brush.

But for a great family feature

Check out The Shy Creatures

His kids’ book that would make Dr. Seuss gush!”

Wizard magazine

“Just smart enough for parents (you’ve gotta love a kid’s book that uses the chupacabra!) but gross and goofy enough to appeal to kids. The oddball monsters, and rhymes that incorporate things like “alien boogers” and Bigfoot stubbing his toe, had our 5-year-old giggling the whole way through, and asking for an immediate encore.” —Fort-Worth Star-Telegram

“. . . a winsome picture book about a shy girl who wants to grow up to treat shy monsters.” —Cincinnati Enquirer

“David Mack’s first picture book has a Dr. Seuss feel with rhyming narrative, whimsical illustrations and delightful characters.” —Wichita Eagle

“Throughout, the spreads are dominated by the creatures, who are deliciously scary and funny at the same time . . . Children will likely respond enthusiastically to the flight-of-fancy theme, appealing rhyme, and whimsical art in this promising picture-book debut by the well-known graphic novelist.” —School Library Journal

“In his debut children’s book, comics artist Mack has huge fun with legendary monsters, celebrating the grotesque in a rhyming text and glossy, colorful double-page-spread pictures . . . The weird and the gross are a big part of the fun . . . as is the little girl’s fantasy of power and acceptance.” —Booklist

“With his debut picture book, The Shy Creatures, [Mack] breaks new ground creating a Seussical bit of fantasy that is firmly set in the 21st century. This is one of those delightful and fun books that is also very smart and thus will appeal to anyone who can appreciate witty absurdity . . . Quite simply, The Shy Creatures is the perfect sort of reading aloud book for boys and girls alike. The shy girl is plucky and endearing, the monsters are more confused than ferocious and Mack’s artwork is the definition of whimsy. Consider this one impossible to resist and introduce your children to the latest in all the good that a story can be.” —Eclectica

“The art is in a style that children will enjoy, it’s bright, cartoony, and fun. The story is entertaining and has a fantastic message. As a shy creature myself growing up, this book would have meant a lot to me.” —Janelle Siegel, Newsarama.com

“People who are shy—or know a very shy child—will appreciate this book. It’s humorous, has interesting, colorful illustrations including pen-and-ink, watercolor and collage. The Shy Creatures is good for any age or grade, though it reads at a level for a very young child. My five-year-old enjoyed it. This would make a beautiful gift for your favorite child, shy or not.” —Armchair Interviews

Publishers Weekly

Fierce mythical beasts find a helpmate in this visually striking but ultimately saccharine children's debut by a prominent comics artist. When a teacher asks her pupils about their goals, a pigtailed girl peeks from behind a stack of books. " 'I want to be a doctor to the shy creatures,' said the shy girl. Or she would have, if she wasn't so shy." If she would only talk, the girl would describe how she imagines bandaging Bigfoot's stubbed toe, repairing a unicorn's broken horn ("so he wouldn't be forlorn") or treating a phoenix for heat rash. Mack, in a radical departure from his Kabuki graphic novels, salutes Dr. Seuss (by way of creep-meister Charles Burns) in his art and layouts. When the introvert balances on a tower of drinking glasses and introduces her "very shy fish,/ who lives in a very high dish," Yertle the Turtleand The Cat in the Hatare points of reference. Yet the Seussian grace is missing. Mack's mostly polished ink line drawings, tinted with opaque colors against a white ground, occasionally look clumsy, and the girl imagines her unspoken wishes being greeted by mechanical scorn: " 'Ha ha ha!' the class would laugh." Mack pairs a gentle soul with misunderstood monsters, but his cloying whimsy and flatfooted rhymes suggest that he has yet to find the right voice. All ages. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
David Mack is parlaying his success as a Kabuki graphic novel artist into the world of children's literature. The illustrations of The Shy Creatures definitely show a graphics heritage, with a tinge of Dr. Seuss. There are other echoes of Seuss as well, including the way the text rhymes and plays with repetition, as in the lines, "HA HA HA!" /the children might have laughed,/ if the shy girl said what she might have said,/ if she wasn't so shy instead." Most of the story tells how the shy girl wants to grow up to be a doctor for creatures like Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and Unicorns who she sees as having problems not because they are imaginary but because they are shy. Refreshingly, Mack's story offers a playful acknowledgement of feeling shy without offering any facile solution. Shy or not, children and their parents are likely to enjoy it. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
Homage or knock-off? It's often a tough call, and this catalog of imaginary creatures offers no easy answer. Mack's illustrations have a decidedly familiar look from the way that individual characters are drawn to the composition of the double-page spreads. The fish in its bowl, for example, and the way the nameless heroine perches atop a pile of water glasses each evoke a particular illustration by Dr. Seuss. The similarity extends to the general style-illustrations have black outlines, a relatively limited palette of colors and white backgrounds. The rhyming text, meanwhile, gallops along interminably, imagining how a shy little girl with a fondness for misunderstood monsters might minister to the ills of Bigfoot, Pegasus, the Cyclops and others. The varied placement of the text also mimics Dr. Seuss's style. Unfortunately, Mack's book ultimately lacks the most Seussian attribute of all-imagination. The predicaments the creatures get into are predictable, and the shy little girl's personality falls flat. Skip this, however well-intentioned, and stick with the source of Mack's inspiration instead. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
7.42(w) x 9.71(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Read an Excerpt

Once upon a time,

there was a very shy girl.

She had a very shy dog,

and a very shy cat.

And a very shy fish,

who lived in a very high dish.

"It's really more of a bowl,"

the fish said.

Or he would have,

if he wasn't so shy.

One day in school,

the teacher asked

the shy girl's class,

"What do you want to be

when you grow up?"

"A doctor," said Larry.

"A fireman," said Terry.

"A teacher," said Mary.

"I want to be a doctor

to the shy creatures,"

said the shy girl.

Or she would have,

if she wasn't so shy.

Meet the Author

David Mack is the creator, author, and artist of the critically acclaimed Kabuki graphic novels, which Spin magazine describes as “dazzling.” Called “One of the geniuses of the medium,” by Entertainment Weekly, his innovative work in comics has garnered nominations for six Eisner Awards (America’s most prestigious comics award), four International Eagle Awards, and both the Harvey Award and the Kirby Award for Best New Talent.

The Shy Creatures marks David Mack’s picture book debut.

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Shy Creatures 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago