Supposing there are monsters... do you think that this monster might be licking his lips and thinking about you?” writes Vere as a dopey-looking green monster with bug-eyes and a tongue hanging out of his mouth makes his way toward readers. As the monster approaches, Vere offers clues about what it might do when it arrives: “o you think he’ll decide you’ll taste even more delicious squished and then squashed onto hot buttered toast?” Vere carefully crafts suspense as the book progresses, amping up readers’ excitement and anticipation before the slobbery (but not scary) finale. Ages 3–up. (July)
...an enjoyable goofy outing that will be widely enjoyed by kids and their monstrous, kissy grownups.” BCCB
“Vere deftly uses the interplay between image and text to add humor and reassure readers that there is nothing to fear.” Horn Book
“Vere carefully crafts suspense as the book progresses, amping up readers' excitement and anticipation before the slobbery (but not scary) finale.” Publishers Weekly
“Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where all can have fun participating in the hilarious sound effects.” Kirkus, starred
“With big, bold spreads and only two words ("Banana" and "Please"), Vere's (The Getaway) story about sharing packs impressive graphic force.” Publishers Weekly on Banana!
“A lively title to share in a toddler storytime.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books on Banana!
“A fun choice for sharing with a group.” School Library Journal on Banana!
“Minimalist text gains expression through varied punctuation and typeface, while speech balloons and other comic-book conventions (not to mention one spectacular simian tantrum) evoke a certain pigeon. Bold, expressive colors and exuberant lines characterize the artwork.” Kirkus Reviews on Banana!
PreS-Gr 2—This delightful book asks listeners to believe that monsters are real and to wonder if "this MONSTER might be licking his lips AND thinking about YOU?" They are also asked to imagine that he is on his way toward them right now and to question if "he's smiling because he remembered to pack his knife and fork?" Over the course of his journey, the monster traverses a dark forest, swamp, mountains, and a town, while maybe thinking how good listeners would be with ketchup or on toast. But after suspense builds and he turns a bedroom doorknob, kids will learn that (spoiler alert) all he wants is a big, sloppy goodnight kiss. As Vere's text ruminates on what the monster may be thinking, his illustrations depict a pea green, cartoony, large, mostly happy, not-very-bright-looking monster whose tongue hangs out of his smiling mouth and whose large eyes are open quite wide. Vere uses bright colors, thick lines, and just a little spooky darkness to convey the mood. The varied font sizes and styles add to the visual silliness and pseudo-scariness of the story. Excellent for storytime, bedtime, or anytime for all but the most easily frightened.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
"Do YOU ever WONDER if somewhere, not too far away, there might be… / MONSTERS?" Whether readers do or not, it is hard to resist being swept up in the silly suspense of possibly becoming the target for this monster's hungry attention. A pea green, neon-pink–horned creature with big, white eyes and a wide-open mouth with yellow stubs of teeth comes off as more ridiculous than terrifying. But the language warns of his impending approach through pointed questions: "And as he crosses the gloopy, schloopy swamp…do you think he's imagining just HOW GOOD you'll taste all covered in ketchup?" Vere strikes the perfect balance of humor and thrills--so much so that readers may not know if they should be shaking with fear or laughter as the story progresses. After the monster happily rides his red bicycle through the "dark and terrible forest," "tiptoes through thorns and thistles" and "climbs up the cold and snowy mountains," getting ever closer, he arrives in town, creaks up the stairs and "opens your bedroom door" because "THIS monster wants… / a disgustingly sloppy GOODNIGHT KISS!" Share this cartoonish, mock-horror tale with the not-so-sleepy at bedtime or rely upon it as a superb storytime choice where all can have fun participating in the hilarious sound effects. (Picture book. 3-6)