Can a monster ever eat too much?
Wolves, ogres, and giants have always populated children’s books. That little bit of fear that they inspire is what makes storytime so exciting. In this book, young children are introduced to a ravenous monster that eats everything in its path. Apples, leaves, trees, and even cows don’t stand a chance as he plows his way through the woods satisfying his enormous appetite.
Who will his next victim be? Be careful! His favorite dish is little children!
- Title: Beware the Monster
- Author: Michaël Escoffier
- Illustrator: Amandine Piu
- Publisher: Annick Press
- ISBN: 177321022X
- Publication Date: April 10, 2018
- For Ages: 3-5
- Category: Picture Book
- Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.
I’d like to thank Annick Press for providing a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Beware the Monster is a funny, clever picture book that plays with perspective and negative space to brilliant effect. The whole story takes place using essentially the same image, but bits of the scenery disappear with each turn of the page as the monster gobbles up apples, trees, and even cows.
The text keeps warning readers not to draw the monster’s attention, lest they become his next meal. It’s a simple concept but it’s executed so cleverly and hilariously that this was a joy to read (and re-read several times!). The art is delightful and filled with hilarious visual jokes, especially on the final page. The soft primary colors of the monster are perfect — there’s enough contrast for him to look jarring and menacing, but there’s not so much that the colors overwhelm the story or the reader’s eye.
I love picture books that break the fourth wall like this. The playfulness and humor is fantastic, as author Michaël Escoffier and artist Amandine Piu manipulate negative space and perspective to make the reader part of the story. It was especially fun to read this on my laptop, because the rapid flips from page to page really made the story jump out as apples disappeared from trees in an instant and the monster charged to gobble me up.
Even though there’s a scary monster with an appetite for children, this book is so fun and interactive that the only screams you’ll hear will be of delight. The surprise ending will have kids laughing and begging to read the story again. With a book this enjoyable, adult storytellers will be more than happy to oblige.
I can’t stop reading this book. I give it 5 out of 5 coffins.