Friday, September 25, 2015

The Little Shop of Monsters

The Little Shop of Monsters
by R.L. Stine
Illustrated by Marc Brown
Little, Brown. Picture Book. 2015.

The Little Shop of Monsters begins with a warning: "Are you afraid of monsters?" If the reader is brave enough to turn the page, she gets to visit the titular shop, which promises all sorts of big, scary creatures.

This book comes from the minds R.L. Stine (Goosebumps) and Marc Brown (Arthur) in their first collaboration. It is a field guide of sorts, showing off many types of monsters, be they smelly, scaly or even sneezy. The book has a twist, though -- this store is not for children to pick a monster, but the opposite! This surprise may scare some readers, and the monsters themselves, while playfully designed, could induce some nightmares (or gross-outs). Stine's dry humor neutralizes anything too scary, with numerous asides that will surely earn laughs.

If a reader dares to open this book, she'll likely fall in love with this combination of silly and scary -- but afterward, she may want to check under the bed.

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