Monster and Mouse Go Camping

illus. by Jared Chapman. 32p. HMH. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544648326.
PreS-Gr 2—Monster and Mouse prepare for the great outdoors in this picture book about camping and friendship. Mouse convinces reluctant Monster to camp out with the promise of food. They prepare by making a list of essentials which includes sleeping bags, a tent, and a lamp. Once they venture into the woods, it becomes clear that they did not think of everything when Monster has to snack on the supplies. The two friends, cold and hungry, sit in the dark in silence. In a surprise twist, they finally get to experience the joys of camping (and roasted marshmallows) after inadvertently scaring away a family that was sitting around a campfire telling spooky stories. The uniform colors of the digital cartoon illustrations expertly reflect the passing of time throughout the day, with each page getting darker and ending with a starry night sky. There is no background setting in the beginning pages; however, there is a nice contrast between small, white Mouse and large, red Monster. Their body language and large eyes perfectly reinforce their personalities and emotions, from excitement to disappointment. The illustrations are humorous, especially when the family goes screaming into the woods. Lovers of the great outdoors and those with a camping aversion will root for these friends.
VERDICT Perfect for sharing one-on-one around the campfire or in a camping-themed storytime.

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