Love Monster and the Scary Something

illus. by Rachel Bright. 32p. Farrar. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374346911.
PreS-Gr 2—Popular Love Monster is back for more as he discovers his "brave-inside" by overcoming his fear of the dark. Many children will empathize with Love Monster's plight as he tries to fall asleep and the sounds around him translate into something monstrous. Bright's unique illustrations, created with a technique called solar etching, emphasize the shadows when appropriate, spilling font across the page in a rippling movement that begs to be read aloud. Onomatopoeic words highlight Love Monster's fears, and the clever use of punctuation identifies long, drawn-out pauses. Alliterative phrases like terrible, twisterly toenails trip off the tongue and add to the nimble wordplay. As Love Monster conjures increasingly horrific images from the sounds he hears, Bright presents these imaginings in vivid, bold colors until the hilarious climax. What follows are a series of smaller panels that show how fears can magnify one's reality unless one is willing to face them.
VERDICT An endearing first purchase for most collections and a welcome addition to storytimes.

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