Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The tickle monster is coming by James Otis Thach, illustrated by David Barneda

This should be a very cute book. It's all about the tickle monster, who comes at bedtime. Here he comes! You can't get away! It has cute little orange creatures with green dots. It has wiggling and giggling!

I thought it was extremely creepy.

The whole trend of the narrative is toward "you can't get away" and "he's coming, he's coming". But, we NEVER SEE HIM. Yes, it does show the little boy/orange creature leaping in delight and giggling, but that same spread says "squealing and laughter - that's just what he's after, and that's only where it begins!"

What happens afterward?

Plus, although the shadow matches the little boy's head, so it presumably is his same species, it doesn't seem to be a parent, because it comes from "the great Giggle Mountain, in a cave that's as dark as a tomb". This spread shows a volcano and a flight of nasty-looking bats.

In short, this is a misguided attempt to combine bedtime tickling with the "monsters aren't scary" motif. I'd give it to small children who like scary books, but I won't be including it in any bedtime storytimes.

Verdict: Too scary for sensitive kids, too childish for kids who like scary books. Give it a miss.

ISBN: 978-1599900117; Published September 2008 by Bloomsbury; Borrowed from the library

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