Monster Problems?
10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster

Monster Problems?
10-Step Guide to Living With Your Monster
Written by Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by Nate Evans

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 4-8

Does your child have monster problems?

Monsters under the bed, monsters in darkened bathrooms? Well, now you can make driving to all those Monsters Anonymous 12-Step meetings a thing of the past. Author Laura Numeroff wraps it all up in just 10 steps!

Let's face it: monsters are a silly notion, and the sooner they can be rendered silly, the better for your child. And I've never seen monsters rendered quite so silly as in Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living With Your Monster.

Firstly, illustrator Nate Evans (who claims to have "recorded the likenesses of nearly twenty million monster species") creates monsters that are designed not to scare, but to make you go "awww."

Like puppies in a pet store (which is essentially what the book depicts them as), they appear eager to please.

Whether big or small, these are monsters whose tender feelings need tending to, and indeed the "10 Steps" are all about providing your monster a proper home.

The genius of this simple book is that by rendering monsters as helpless, cute and clumsy - by depicting them as pets, actually - children are elevated to the role of caregiver for their monster, and the whole "monster dialogue" changes.

If a Numeroff monster is under your bed, your monster problem is not that it's going to gobble you up, but that you might step on its paw!

The monsters are depicted in colorful, harmless pastels.

The title monster wears red Chuck Taylor gym shoes, a propeller beanie, and his tail ends in a rounded yellow star.

He's huge, but soft and pudgy like a puppy, with no sharp edges. The only angry-looking monster in the whole book is two-headed.

You got it: he's angry at himself.

Make monster problems no problem

with Laura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your Monster.

(Laura Numeroff is also the author of the popular If You... books, such as If You Give a Pig a Pancake, reviewed on this site.)

More Halloween and monster books.

Read more of Steve's reviews.

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