A Monster Is Coming!

PreS-Gr 1—Beginning readers who crave suspense will be drawn to this gentle spin on the "Chicken Little" motif. As a smiling Mama watches Baby Bug chomp on a leaf she says, "You eat like a monster," prompting a nearby inchworm to cry, "Monster! Inch for your lives!" He hides in leaves, although his bottom sticks out. Inchworm tells Toad, who unsuccessfully hides under a tree root and then spreads the news to Mouse. Mouse sends the alarm to Rabbit: "A hairy, horrible monster is coming!" Then Fox comes along and asks, "What is going on around here?" Hearing the answer, he dives into a hole. From her high chair on a branch, Baby Bug looks down at the animals, puzzled: "Why is everyone hiding?" When they advise her to "Fly for your life!" and say why, the little bug states, "I'm so hungry I could eat a monster." "Have you heard? Baby Bug ate the monster!" Inchworm shouts. The animals rejoice and Baby Bug happily eats another leaf. Wilhelm's expressive, cheerfully colored cartoon illustrations reflect the fact that there is nothing to fear and provide a lot of picture clues to help decode the clever, descriptive text. Offer this with Rebecca Emberley's Chicken Little (Roaring Brook, 2009) and Rafe Martin's Foolish Rabbit's Big Mistake (Putnum, 1985) for different ways to tell a similar story.—Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI
"You eat like a monster," says Mama Bug to Baby Bug. This comment, misheard, sets off a chain reaction, as Inchworm, Toad, Mouse, Rabbit, and Fox hide from the monster they think is upon them. Though the story line is overly familiar, details in the accessible text and comical cartoon illustrations are likely to make new readers giggle.

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