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Is There a Monster Over There? 04/11/10

Last year I was offered a chance to review No, Never! by Sally O. Lee. Since Harriet liked that one I was thrilled to be offered one I was sure she and her brother would love, Is There a Monster Over There?

My son (and now my daughter who wants to like what her big brother likes) is nuts about monsters. While Sean works on creating new monsters, Harriet makes sure he remembers to include some girl monsters. Is There a Monster Over There? seemed like the perfect compromise for both my monstrologists. It was!

The day the review copy arrived Sean and Harriet hone in on it and demanded I read it. So we snuggled together and read about Mabel, her cat and the monster who lives in their bedroom.

The first thing Harriet loved was Mabel's name. See, Harriet knows she has an old fashioned name and she could tell that Mabel's name was also old fashioned. That made her an instant kindred spirit.

So for the first half of the book, Mabel and Tiffany see their monster trying to pounce from under the bed, from the bedroom window, from the foot of the bed and so forth. They make a fort out of the bed blankets. Having listened to my children's stories of the monsters in the room they share, I've lost track of sheer number and variety of them. So Mabel seeing a monster at every corner of her room rang true to them.

What took this book from good to great, though, was Mabel deciding the monster might be a potential friend. She starts by first touching its nose; it's "wet and slimy." She goes on to pet its fur and so forth. The tactile descriptions made the three of us think of Wally dog, my in law's bouvier de Flanders.

Although the first face to face meeting doesn't go well with the monster getting scared, the two do strike up a friendship. For Harriet, the win comes with a dress up tea party. For Sean it came with the fact that monster stays a monster all the way to the end. He likes the closing illustration of Mabel and the monster playing hide and seek in the forest.

For my son (7) and daughter (3), Is There a Monster Over There? was a perfect book for them to enjoy together.

I received my copy for review from the author.

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