In the 1931 movie Frankenstein, the monster was capable of kindness and innocence, but the villagers turned on him anyway. McDonnell’s (Me... Jane) monster is even more prone to acts of sweetness and generosity—much to the dismay of his creators. Three runty, bean-nosed monsters named Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom ’n’ Doom (he has two heads) decide to settle their perpetual quarreling about which of them is the meanest by making “a monster monster. The biggest, baddest monster ever!” Like Frankenstein’s monster, theirs has the same flat head, neck bolts, and automaton walk. He’s strong enough to smash castle walls, but he has unexpectedly lovely manners. His first words are “Dank you!” and his first impulse is to hug the little monsters tight. McDonnell’s greatest strength is to explore with tenderness the finest instincts humans show, without making them prissy or maudlin. The monster’s goodness (and some jelly doughnuts) transform the three little monsters in an entirely believable way: “Monster looked at them and smiled. They smiled back.” Another winner from McDonnell—and good Halloween fare, too. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
"McDonnell arranges the tale so that it blooms like a dawning day.... Relax, little monsters, and enjoy the day."
New York Times Book Review
"Simple yet inspired."
"Succinct and snappy."
From the Publisher
A New York Times Bestseller
An Indiebound Bestseller
A National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Silver Winner
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2012
* "The story charms, but it is the overall thoughtful design that makes this a frightfully amazing book to read. Make time to share with young monsters everywhere."Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "McDonnell's greatest strength is to explore with tenderness the finest instincts humans show.... Another winner."Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "This delightful title will provide a new option for 'not so scary' monster storytimes."School Library Journal, starred review"
McDonnell arranges the tale so that it blooms like a dawning day.... Relax, little monsters, and enjoy the day."Booklist"
Simple yet inspired."New York Times Book Review"
Succinct and snappy."The Bulletin
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Grouch, Grump, and Little Gloom ?n' Doom are the odd-looking heroes who think they are monsters. They do live in a dark monster castle on a dark monster mountain. They smash, bash, huff and puff; their favorite words are all "no." Every day they argue and fight over who is the worst. One day they decide together to build the "biggest, baddest monster EVER!" But Monster does not behave as they expect. His first words are a polite, "Dank you!" When he strides down the mountain to the town below, his creators wait for howls and growls. Instead Monster emerges from the bakery saying, "Dank you!" and clutching a paper bag. Grouch, Grump, and Gloom ?n' Doom follow him to the beach, where he gives each of them a jelly doughnut. In surprise, they remember to say, "Thank you!" They all sit happily together enjoying the day and forgetting to be monsters. The jacket introduces the four characters, three small and strange looking, observing their huge creation, which is a parody of the stereotypical monster created by Frankenstein. On the cover they watch him march away down the road. Visualized on mainly full pages in cartoon style, the story is more amusing than frightening, with perhaps a lesson for quarreling friends. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-1—Three little monsters love to CRASH!, BASH!, and SMASH! Every day they argue over who is the best monster, until they join forces to "make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!" At first, their efforts look successful, but to their horror, the creature's first words after tearing off his bandages are "Dank you." The enormous Frankenstein look-alike contents himself with breathing fresh air and gently greeting the spiders, bats, and rats in the castle. But just as the little monsters begin to despair, Monster lets out a ROAR and smashes through the dungeon wall, heading toward the "monster-fearing village" below. Is he finally off to make mayhem? Or will his exploits end in a lesson for the little monsters about gratitude and sharing? McDonnell's monsters are comic and endearing, and the book's colors gently shift from dark and gloomy to warm as the story progresses. The message is well executed, and the little beasts' exuberance at their badness keeps the tale from devolving into platitudes. This delightful title will provide a new option for "not so scary" monster storytimes.—Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Tiny Grouch, Grump and Gloom 'n' Doom (who has two heads) continually bicker about who is the most impressive monster. When the solution they come up with turns out to be different from what they expected, a surprising but welcome lesson is eventually learned. Caldecott Honor winner McDonnell (Me…Jane, 2011) produces a special tale that seamlessly blends an engaging text, gentle humor and skillful illustrations that readers of all ages can appreciate. The monstrous trio smash, crash and bash about, and a black cloud literally hangs over the castle where they live. A coordinated stroke of genius leads them to "make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!" "[S]ome tape, tacks, staples, and glue…some gunk, gauze, and gobs of goo… [and] bolts, wire and a smelly old shoe" form a huge creature that comes to life via lightning strike. But instead of making a scary, intimidating monster, they have brought to life a sweet, polite, life-loving being whose first words are "Dank you!" Soon, the small threesome finds they cannot change their creation's pleasant nature--he repeatedly blurts out his favorite phrase--and learns that respectful, mannerly companionship can lead to fulfilling and sunny results…like watching the sunrise at the beach while sharing jelly doughnuts. The story charms, but it is the overall thoughtful design that makes this a frightfully amazing book to read. Make time to share with young monsters everywhere. (Picture book. 3-6)