Felix and the Monsters by Josh and Monica Holtsclaw


Felix and the Monsters by Josh and Monica Holtsclaw. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2020. 9780593110522

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book fantasy

What did you like about the book? On one side of a tall wall are guards. On the other side are horrible little monsters who must be kept out. But Felix prefers playing his keytar to actual guarding, and he gets some flack. One day he hears the sound of a bass guitar, which turns out to be one of the horrible little monsters, whose name is Dot, from the other side of the wall. They start to jam, and Felix is swept up in the music they make together. He joins Dot on the other side of the wall and finds all of the monsters, who are not horrible at all, making all sorts of art, from music and painting to carving an elephant out of cheddar cheese (“I simply removed all the bits of cheddar that weren’t elephant.”) Felix and Dot and some of Dot’s friends start a band, and when the guards make it over the wall to save Felix, they, too, are transported by the beautiful music. The wall is dismantled, and the two sides become friends. What sweet messages – that art can unite us, and all we have to do is listen to our enemies to find peace. The book is a collaboration by a couple, and I think the text and retro mixed media and digital art complement each other wonderfully. I love the textures, colors and funny little guards and monsters.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 3-6. Perfect for story times or units on music and friendship.

Who should buy this book? Day cares, elementary schools and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: October 23, 2020

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, *Starred Review, Friendship, Josh Holtsclaw, Josh Holtsclaw, Monica Holtsclaw, Music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.