Swashy blue watercolors show a family of humanoid tigers in a futuristic world with space ships parked outside the dome-shaped houses. The wider world is only briefly sketched in though, because the real focus is Tiger, the young daughter of two adult tigers. Her parents think she has an imaginary friend, but it's real - there's a monster under her bed! Monster isn't scary though; she's a small, blue, lizard-like creature. Tiger explains to her parents that Monster came to scare her but they became friends instead - and now Monster scares away the nightmares that come at night. But what happens when a really big, really scary nightmare comes? One too big for Monster to scare away on her own?
The dark blue washes over the pages, showing a terrifying creature with a crocodilian skull, skinny black antlers and claws, and a dark sweep of black trailing in its wake. Tiger and Monster at first cower together in fear, then try strategies, but only when Tiger faces her fears and protects her friend is she able to banish the nightmare in a burst of glorious light.
The art is dividing into loose panels and the book is longer than a picture book at 62 pages. I'd also be hesitant to hand it to a younger child, especially one struggling with nightmares because of how scary the nightmare is. But for a slightly older child, to read alone or with an adult, it's perfect. The warmth of the two friends, their struggle together to banish the nightmare, and Tiger's burst of bravery and courage, are very endearing.
Verdict: Hand this to young readers and listeners who need some encouragement to tackle their fears or just enjoy a good, heartwarming story.
ISBN: 9781626725355; Published November 2018 by First Second; Borrowed from another library in my consortium