If you are a young boy who discovers you have a monster sleeping under your bed, what do you do? You scream. And if you are a monster on the receiving end of that scream, what do you do? You swallow the boy whole, of course.
So begins Hannah Barnaby’s clever chapter book, Monster and Boy, but when an unexpected cough jettisons the now grasshopper-sized boy from the monster’s tummy, the monster is faced with a much bigger—or is it smaller?—problem. His friend, who sleeps in the bed above him, whose socks smell so good, whose snoring is so comforting, is now scarcely bigger than a mouse. Despite his diminutive size, the boy still has a large appetite, so monster and boy venture downstairs to the kitchen, where they encounter another problem in the form of the boy’s sister, who threatens to wake the entire house. What’s a well-intentioned monster to do?
Barnaby’s story provides plenty of bite-sized drama while spinning a warm and literally fuzzy tale of unlikely friendship. Illustrator Anoosha Syed’s simple line drawings breathe life into the sweet but hapless monster and add an extra dimension of humor to Barnaby’s wry text. The story’s casual, conversational style makes this engaging chapter book easy for even the most reluctant readers to swallow—whole, of course.