It's hard being the only monster in Cutesville, home of fluffy kitties, puppies, and bunnies. So Love Monster, the only hairy, googly-eyed resident, packs a trunk and heads out to look for love. Unfortunately, even though he thinks to bring a map and some donuts, he seems to keep looking for love in all the wrong places.
Readers will adore Love Monster's fluffy, sad little face. It struck me as sort of a really early lesson in codependency. Don't be sad, Love Monster! Love yourself, and maybe love will find you. I also found myself giving the stink-eye to those little kids who only like the little animal residents of Cutesville. So shallow! Can't they see past Love Monster's sharp teeth and melancholy demeanor to the cuddly warmth of his personality? There's a heart right on his furry little chest! I bet he gives great hugs.
The story is fun, but the artwork for me is just ok. And what is up with the font? It's playful and whimsical, but hard to read. (Though having read part of Malcolm Gladwell's David & Goliath, maybe the hard-to-read font will actually make readers pay more attention to the story.) While I'm not totally over the moon with this picture book, I think this would make a fun bedtime story, and there's a couple of neat things you could do to turn this into a Valentine literacy cafe sort of activity.
First off, a literacy cafe has to have food!
I think these gooey monster cookies from Lil' Luna would be perfect with some fresh milk (see right).
Secondly, a literacy cafe has to have an activity. I have some great craft ideas, which I will post more about as it gets closer to Valentine's Day. You could do a simple heart stamp craft to stamp your own Monster Valentines (in the meantime here is a very simple explanation from a tea-towel tutorial). If you're having a party, you can make little paper pennant banners like the ones on the second page of the book. And if you're giving the book as a gift you can pack a little trunk just like Love Monster's suitcase! (If you don't want to buy one, you can always just make one from an old box.)
Come back on January 27, 2014 to enter to win a pair of super-cute love monsters I'm commissioning from my friend Emily at Dragons Don't Knit. You can see one of her cute creations (already sold) here.
In the meantime, pick up Love Monster and give it a read. You might just fall for those sad, googly eyes.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Cross-posted from Read Now Sleep Later