My Monsterpiece by Amalia Hoffman

My Monsterpiece by Amalia Hoffman. Yeehoo Press, 2021. 9781953458018

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book?  An unnamed and unseen little kid narrator draws monster after monster, trying to whip up something scary, but Mom, Dad and Big Sister just find all the creations cute. Then the narrator ponders this philosophical question: is there a monster somewhere drawing pictures of scary kids and coming up with a similar lack of success? Maybe neither has to be scary and instead, they can be friends. The colorful, collage illustrations feature hand-made monsters constructed from around-the-home art supplies and garnished with photos: popcorn kernels, crayons for scribbling, and torn paper. Cute monsters dangle from a tightrope on the opening end papers while simple stick-figure children in a variety of skin tones hang upside down on the closing ones. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? Although I enjoyed looking at the artwork, I found the story a bit muddled. I guess the message is that we can all have fun making art, even if other people don’t get it. The pages were very busy.

To whom would you recommend this book?  It did recall Ed Emberly’s classic Go Away, Big Green Monster!, so a possible recommendation for kids who either love monsters or are afraid of them and need help cutting them down to size. It could anchor a not-scary story time for Halloween, followed by a monster creation party.

Who should buy this book? 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: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: September 8, 2021

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