Baby Monster (Andrea Pfeiffer & Erin Barker)

Hello, friends! Spooky season has officially begun! To celebrate, we’ll be reviewing a spoooooky book every Friday for the month of October. First up: Baby Monster by Andrea Pfeiffer and Erin Barker, a hilarious spin on new parenthood.

On a dark and stormy night, a scientist couple decides that their next experiment should be the creation of a monster – a baby monster, complete with green scaly skin and a long pointy tail. They are successful in their endeavor, and briefly celebrate before quickly realizing the responsibility of having a baby monster: feedings, stinky diapers, overtired tantrums, and massive messes. Yet even as worn out and frazzled as they become, they find themselves enamored of their little monster, especially while cuddling and playing. And when they realize that, despite the stress, their dear little monster has made them a family, they ponder if they should move on the next experiment: a sibling.

Clever and cute. This delightful twist on the classic tale of “bringing home baby” is filled with outrageous comedy that will appeal to both younger readers and their adult caregivers, especially those who remember bringing home their own monster for the first time. The ink-and-watercolor-style illustrations fit the tone of the story perfectly; in particular, the
expressive main characters, from the positively adorable reptilian monster baby to the increasingly exhausted/satisfied parents, even to their possibly Frankenweenie-inspired pet dog, who provides one of the book’s sweetest jokes. There are two times that the phrase “make” is used to reference a baby rather than “have”; it’s not noticeable to young readers, but reading it as an adult elicited a slightly uncomfortable laugh, but that’s a minor quibble. The length is perfect for a storytime, the rhyming text is fun to read aloud, and JJ had a great time with it. This was a fun treat to start out spooky season, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

What Is Soft? (Susan Kantor)

Hello, friends! Our book today is What Is Soft?, written by Susan Kantor and illustrated by Erin Barker, a charming examination at the ways the world can be soft for the littlest bookworms.

Soft can be a cloud, or a kitten, or a precious little lamb. It can be a whisper, or a feather, or a snuggly woolen sweater. There are lots of ways that things can be soft: quiet, or gentle, or cozy, or light. But the very best soft is when, all snuggled into your soft bed, the ones who love you give you a soft kiss good night.

Darling and sweet. Gently flowing rhyming text encourages a tranquil read-aloud, leading to an affectionate nighttime scene, making this for a great calm-down or bedtime book for little ones. The illustrations are just adorable, and feature a diverse cast of children and adults exploring the softness in the world around them. It’s a tender, quiet little book that creates a snug sense of calm, and we really enjoyed it. The length is just fine for even the smallest of readers, and we can definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a story to help busy bodies wind down. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)