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Even Monsters Need Haircuts | Sweet Peas & Stilettos
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Funny Monster Books

Funny Monsters by Susan Fry

Humor is often the best way to combat fear. So if your children are a little overwhelmed during Halloween — or any other time of the year — by monsters and creatures that go bump in the night, a dose of the giggles might help them sleep soundly. And that means more sleep for mommy, too!

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Even Monsters Need Haircuts, by Matthew McElligott. On nights with a full moon, the son of a barber takes over his dad’s shop – not to fight monsters, but to cut their hair! Mummies, dragons, and vampires who can’t come out during the day soon fill the waiting room. The hilarious drawings, in the muted colors of nighttime, show the little boy trimming a monster made entirely of fur and snipping a single hair from the head of a Cyclops. But when an ordinary-looking man walks in, all the monsters scurry to hide. Kids will enjoy finding them all under the chairs, behind paintings, and under a lampshade. And, just like the monsters, they’ll laugh when the “man” asks, “Can you take a little off the top?” and removes his head! When the sun comes up, the boy and his customers remove all evidence of their night, at least they think so . . . . Though friendly enough for even younger children, the book is also filled with more sophisticated jokes for older kids and grownups. The names of the products the boy uses, for example, include Hair Die and Spoiling Spray.

Mostly Monsterly, by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Scott Magoon. A little girl monster, Bernadette, learns how she can make friends at monster school while still being herself. “On the outside Bernadette was mostly monsterly,” lurching, growling, and causing mayhem like all the other students. But on the inside? Bernadette likes to pick flowers and pet kittens. Her other classmates don’t take kindly to her group hugs and cupcakes with sprinkles. What’s a monster to do? Bernadette finds a compromise: she makes cards for each student – monsterly cards! Kids will howl over greetings such as “roses are red, violets are blue. in this card i went ACHOO!”

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems. Little Leonardo is indeed a terrible monster – he can’t seem to scare anyone. He’s not big or weird like his other monster friends, and he “didn’t have 1,642 teeth, like Tony.” Finally, Leonardo finds a boy, Sam, who looks easy to scare. But when Sam cries, it turns out to be for a host of other reasons, beautifully expressed in enormous type and a page-long run-on sentence that will sound very familiar to kids and parents alike. In the face of genuine misery, “Leonardo made a very big decision. Instead of being a terrible monster, he would become a wonderful friend.” On the last pages, the boy and the monster take turns scaring each other. Willems’ ink drawings strike exactly the right balance between cute and a little creepy.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

You can check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ children’s books page for quick access to all of Susan’s wonderful children’s book reviews.



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