A Monster Moved In! Author: Thomas Knapman Illustrator: Loretta Schauer
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Format: Picture Books

Age Range: 3-7 years

Publication Date: March 2015

BISAC: JUV051000

Pages: 32

Book Format Detail: Jacketed Hardcover

Retail Price: $16.99

ISBN-13: 978-1-58925-176-2

ISBN-10: 1-58925-176-8

Dimensions: 10" x 11-1/4"

It's raining, and Ben is stuck inside with nothing to do. Then he comes up with a wonderful idea: he will build a fort! "But a monster might move in!" say Mom and Dad. After playing for a while, Ben wishes that a monster would move in. BIG MISTAKE!

This book delivers a memorable lesson about getting along with different kinds of friends. It starts with a rainy day and a bored child, Ben. He hits on the idea of making the couch into a fort. But Ben is still bored. He wishes a monster would move in. And one does--one that wears a purple T-shirt that says "Burple." He looks a lot like Ben, except he is green with furry legs, a tail, and horns. Ben and Burple build a pretend rocket ship out of the vacuum cleaner, are chased out of the spare room by a fire-breathing dragon, and have more crazy adventures at the park. The creatures are all rendered to resemble a child's crayon drawings, making them fun rather than fierce. Boredom teaches Ben to use his imagination, while Burple teaches Ben about friendship--and a nifty turn at the story's end will give kids a laugh. A Monster Is Coming!, by David L. Harrison (2011), is a great companion to this book. Fletcher, Connie. 32. Booklist Online. Preschool-Grade 2. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2015.<!--EndFragment--> 

A maniacally cheery Mom and Dad give bored Ben a number of rainy-day activity suggestions, from reading to building a rocket to going on a dragon hunt, in Knapman's silly boy-meets-monster tale. Ben decides to build a fort instead, which alarms his parents, as forts, of course, attract monsters. Even in the fort, though, playing at pirates, knights and wizards is still so boring that Ben wishes for a monster. Suddenly, Burple, a green boy monster, pops in with a lunch box. "He seems harmless," is Ben's last thought before the monster inexplicably starts howling. Burple's pink, snaggletoothed, dog-collared, amorphous lunch takes advantage of the commotion and escapes. The boys wrangle the "disgusting packed lunch" and stuff it back into the lunch box and sit on it. Monster and kid bond and proceed to read, build a rocket and hunt a dragon--sound familiar? Schauer's crayonlike digital illustrations are bright and cartoonish. The background details are sure to catch youngsters' attentions, especially the evolution of Burple's lunch from snack to monster pet. Still, Knapman's previous foray into unorthodox friendships, Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood, illustrated by Gwen Millward (2008), was cleverer and more successful in both concept and execution. The lunch is the star of this book; both plot and humor are otherwise predictable. (Picture book. 4-7). 32pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2015.

It's raining, and Ben is bored. His dad suggests reading or searching for dragons. His mom offers up the idea of making a rocket. None of these suggestions appeal to Ben. Instead, he comes up with the idea to build an indoor fort. With big smiles on their faces, his parents reply in unison, "But a monster might move in!" Ben is doubtful that will happen. And for a long time it doesn't. It's pretty uneventful as Ben imagines himself in roles like a pirate or knight--soon he begins to hope a monster would move in. Poof! Turn the page and meet Burple, the cute monster sporting a T-shirt and sneakers. The friendship between Ben and Burple starts slowly. But that changes when they team up for adventures that include building a rocket from a vacuum cleaner. Since the cover of the book shows Ben and Burple sitting next to each with smiles on their face, it's no surprise when they become friends. However, this is a book that lends itself to discussion and asking children predictive questions. Illustrations are colorful and cartoonlike. Children will relate to the issue of boredom when real friends are not available for play dates. VERDICT With these friendly monster illustrations, many children may wish they had a Burple that could come and visit for the day. Robin Sofge, Alexandria Library, VA. 32p. PreS-K. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2015.<!--EndFragment-->