Bernadette is mostly monsterly: she lurches and growls and causes mischief. But occasionally, she also likes to do very UN-monsterly things, like bake cupcakes and cuddle kittens. So when she’s getting ready to go Monster School, she feels nervous. And sure enough, the other monsters are confused and put off by her overtures of un-monsterly friendship. How can Bernadette connect with the other monsters without sacrificing who she is?
This one has sort of a complex message, and it required a bit of consideration after reading, but ultimately I liked it. Bernadette is happy as she is, just as the other monsters are happy as they are. So the lesson is about bridging the gap, and finding common ground to form friendships without omitting or changing who you are. It’s a slightly more complicated message than your average “be yourself” children’s book, but a valid one nonetheless. That said, this one might be better for older bookworms: they would better be able to sort out the concept, and the gross-out humor would appeal more. The illustrations are cute and creepy, with a more muted color palette than books for younger readers. And while the length is fine, JJ was not as stimulated by this one. So overall, we liked it okay, but we bet older kids would love it. Still, Baby Bookworm approved!