Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan

If the title of the book intrigues you, you probably have a small child at home. Or perhaps, your little one loves monsters like my son. Henry and Eve are the main characters who are going through a whiny stage. Their father warns them, if they continue, a monster will come and eat them up. Henry and Eve, of course, do not believe him and continue with their complaints and bad attitudes. Eventually, a monster does capture them and takes them to "the bad side of town." After much arguments between the monster and his wife plus the neighbors, Henry and Eve stop whining and escape. The book ends with the children behaving well, but "to tell you the truth" they still sometimes whine.

I chose this book from the library's new shelf because I hoped to combat my son's new fondness for highly nasal and sometimes deafening conversations while playing to his love of all monsters. When I read it to him word for word, he was intersted in the monsters but ignored the whiny children. When his dad made his own rendition of the story, as he usually does, Bobo was terrified. Instead of the children escaping, they were devoured by the monsters. Needless to say, we had a sleepless night after that ending.

As a whole, this book is better suited for older children who understand the difference between real and make believe. It is understandable to try to associate a consequence with an action, but being eaten by monsters may not be the best one. Most of the reviews of the book agree it has humor better suited for parents rather than children. The illustrations are simple line drawings with little color. The large pages have lots of white space and the text is littered with dialogue.