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Monday, June 19, 2017

Short Stories for Little MONSTERS, by Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood. $19.95 ages 4 and up

"When I was young, I knew
a lot of big words.
So, everybody knows big
What happened to my shorts?
Yeah, well, when I was one
year old, I knew the word
So, everybody knows that
Maybe this elastic will work."

Just when you think you have seen it all, Marie-Louise Gay pens a new book unlike anything she has previously done. This one is full of the color, the fun, and the terrific detail we have seen in her other books. This time, she tells nineteen 'short' stories, giving kids pause for concern and some careful thought.

A few of the titles in the table of contents express kids' sentiments:

"When I Close My Eyes

What Games Do Cats Play?

Lies My Mother Told Me

Who, Me?

The Secret Life of Rabbits"

To say you will be amused is putting it mildly. You have no idea! Each of the nineteen 'stories' is presented on double page spreads (except What Do Cats See? and What Games Do Cats Play?) and designed in comic book style. Each is sure to engage the audience in discussions, and perhaps even quiet contemplation of those big questions that can cause little ones to stop and ponder.

Take the classroom in Who? Me? where the kids do their best to avoid answering their teacher's history question?

"OK. Let's see who studied their history lesson last night ... in what year ... ?

If I don't move, she won't ask me.

If I look like I'm exploring different answers, she won't ask me.

If I blow my nose, she won't ask me.

If I pretend to pick up my pencil, she won't ask me.

If I look calm and relaxed, she won't ask me.

If I don't look at her, she won't ask me.


If she thinks I know the answer, she won't ask me."

HA! So they think ...

The author's  mixed media illustrations use text box dialogue that is sure to attract attention and hold interest. There is a lot of mischief making, and the subject matter is sure to please. Both smart and funny, your kids are going to LOVE it!

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