Monster Mash

Shaw/Watha T. Daniel LibraryRead FeedStaff Picks

Monster Mash

Scary and Fun Picture Books Featuring Lovable Monsters!

If there is a super cute thing in the world I love, so cute they make me happy and sick, they are picture books about monsters! Whether it is a toddler Frankenstein or a dirt monster in your plumbing or a fuzzy wolf living in your walls, I love them all! These are my most favorite and fun titles that can be enjoyed by both children and adults due to their unique illustrations or rhymes. Some may be scarier than others, so reader beware (to have some fun)!

The Bath Monster by Colin Boyd and Tony Ross
Jackson is a little boy who loves getting dirty and playing, preferably getting dirty while playing. Every day when he came home his mother would have to insist he take a bath, lest the Bath Monster would get him. The Bath Monster’s second favorite food is dirty bath water, and if Jackson does not take his bath, Jackson will have to find out what his first favorite food is. When Jackson challenges the existence of the Bath Monster and refuses to take his bath, Jackson discovers just how hungry the Bath Monster could be. This book has a surprise ending, a cute and dirty monster, and great illustrations of the dirty hijinks a child could get into. (Ages 3-6)

Love Monster by Rachel Bright
Welcome to Cutesville, home of fluffy bunnies, puppies and all things cute and poofy, but also home to a hairy and googly-eyed monster. In a town where only the cute things get love, Monster decides to seek love from those that will admire him for who he is. This book is a great story of looking high and low for love and eating all your emergency doughnuts along the way, then finding love in unexpected places. The illustrations are super cute all around, especially if you like funny-looking monsters, with solid color backgrounds that indicate the mood and level of cuteness. (Ages 3-6)

My Teacher is a Monster! (no, I am not) by Peter Brown
Robert is a class clown and Ms. Kirby is his teacher, who often has to remind him of the penalty for throwing paper airplanes in class. To Bobby, Ms. Kirby is a monster who roars, stomps, yells his full name and then takes away his recess. She has bright green skin and super sharp teeth, too! Out of school, Bobby loves to run in the park, where one day he happens to meet up with Ms. Kirby! Oh no! He can't hide from Ms. Kirby, so they attempt to chat. Then a gust of wind takes Ms. Kirby’s favorite hat! In the ensuing chase, they discover that maybe they have more in common than they thought and are not so annoying to each other after all. Peter Brown’s style of illustration is probably my most favorite right now. (Ages 5-8)

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone and Michael J. Smollin
Starring lovable, furry old Grover! Our favorite blue Muppet pops up on the copyright page of this book, appearing to turn it because it is very dull and what should happen? He stops and turns to the audience and exclaims, “WHAT DID THAT SAY? On the first page, what did that say? Did that say there will be a MONSTER at the end of this book?? It did? Oh, I am so scared of MONSTERS!!!” In the next few pages, a worried Grover begs the audience not to turn the page and cries out when we, the audience, inevitably do. He tries to build walls to stop us, but Grover will be surprised who the monster is at the end of this book. With large, engaging illustrations and words of a very energetic Grover, adults and kids of all ages will be entertained by this book! (Ages 3-6)

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat
Everywhere you go, you will likely find a Crankenstein. He will scream “MEHHRRRR!!!” when you wake him up for school, or if there is not enough maple syrup for pancakes, or if it’s too hot outside for popsicles. It can be scary, but when Crankenstein meets another Crankenstein, it might just be funny instead! This book has some of the most fun illustrations of cranky monster children railing against the annoyances of being a kid, and the fun and fine details of the illustrations, which even hint at Bride of Frankenstein, are hilarious for adults, too! (Ages 5-8)

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
“If the wolves come out of the walls, then it’s all over.” Thus begins this creepy children’s picture book for weird children of all ages. With dreamlike illustrations and language that conveys creeping and crackling, nibbling and gnawing of the wolves Lucy hears about to come out of the walls of their home, this tale may both delight and terrify. While Lucy’s mother, father, brother, and everyone knows when the wolves come out of the walls it is all over, no one believes they are there. (What’s all over? It. Exactly.) Once it is over, how will Lucy convince her family to take back their house from the wolves and rescue her pig-puppet? Read it to find out the exciting conclusion! (Ages 7-10)

The Monstore by Tara Lazar and James Burks
Zack wants to keep his sister Gracie out of his room, so he visits the Monstore (no refunds) to get the scariest monster to keep Gracie away. However, when Gracie befriends his monster instead, Zack keeps returning over and over to the Monstore to get more monsters in hopes she will be kept out by their collective scariness. Will Zack’s plans work, or will Gracie keep making friends with Zack’s monsters? Colorful illustrations and a cute, mischievous little sister make for an amusing tale. (Ages 7-9)

Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau
This picture book for younger children has colorful illustrations and language that encourages a playful connection between parent and child, emphasizing the tickling of arms, feet, and tummy. Each time the Tickle Monster gets tickled, another picture begins to form, telling a different and engaging story related to the human body and the senses. This is a great title for introducing a small child to larger books. (Ages 3-4)

The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine and Marc Brown
“Isn’t it cute how they growl and snap their teeth and try to bite you when you walk in? That’s their way of saying hello. (Awwww. So cute.)” Welcome to the Little Shop of Monsters, where unlike the Monstore above, you will meet terrifying and gross monsters such as snot-spewing Sneezer, gluttonous Bubble-Belly Billy, sticky and slimy Yucky-Mucky Twins, and the rottenest and yuckiest monsters Stinky and Smelly. But at this shop, you might not be able to choose the monster, it may choose you! With ooey monstrous illustrations and gooey fonts, you might scream for more (or just scream)! (Ages 5-8)

Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters by Jane Yolen and Kelly Murphy
This fun rhyming book of antics such as monsters twirling, monsters hurling, monsters sliding, monsters piggy-back riding, will engage a child to point out each action of the monsters. This book has hands down the cutest monster pictures I have ever seen, with their large multiple bubbly eyes and striped horns, their long snouts and and curly tails, playing around and eating ice cream. I wish I were one of these monsters! (Ages 3-6)

Ten Birds Meet a Monster by Cybele Young
This book, with its beautiful black and white illustrations, engages the viewer as a both a counting and bizarre sound book, as the birds band together one at a time to confront the monster. They pick up random objects around them, like magpies, and form their own creatures such as the Gnashing Grapplesaurus, Frightening Vipper-Snapper, Bristling Fang-Mangler, and Terrifying Crackatoothus. Together, can they defeat the monster? Only one easily-distracted and wandering bird will learn the monster’s secret! (Ages 5-8)