The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Monsters - January 2008

Selected and annotated by Ata Bird


Anderson, M.T. The Serpent Came to Gloucester; illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Candlewick, 2005 (40 p.) Gr. 3-6
From 1817 to 1818, many people reported seeing a sea serpent off the shore of Massachusetts. In the summer of 1818 fisherman went after the beast, only to take down a mackerel. This story is in the form of a remembered ballad, many years after the event.

Bernasconi, Pablo. The Wizard, the Ugly, and the Book of Shame; written and illus. by Pablo Bernasconi. Bloomsbury, 2005 (32 p.) 6-9 yrs.
When Chauncery, a monster known as the Ugly, discovers the Wizard’s book of spells, he tries to make himself have human skin instead of blue skin. Instead, the book blows up! When Chauncery reassembles the book, all sorts of problems occur. The Wizard tells Chauncery that in order to make things right, Chauncery must get his wish without the magic book.

Booth, Martin. Doctor Illuminatus. Little, 2004 (173 p.) Gr. 5-7
Two twin siblings have just moved to an English manor house, which happens to be the site of a centuries long battle between two opposing alchemists. The bad guy has acquired the skill and knowledge to assemble a homunculus, a created man, and now just needs to finish gathering parts before he can complete his monster.

Browne, Vee, ad. Monster slayer: a Navajo folktale; illus. by Baje Whitethorne. Northland, 1991 (32 p.).
Two brothers decide to go after a monster who makes life difficult for villagers.

Buckingham, Royce. Demonkeeper. Putnam, 2007 (224 p.) Gr. 4-7.
Nat is a demonkeeper in an old house. One night, when Nat is out, two skateboarders break into the house and one of the skateboarders gets eaten by a demon! The demon takes off after the other skateboarder, who has stolen Nat’s monster manual.

Fanelli, Sara. Mythical Monsters of Ancient Greece; written and illus. by Sara Fanelli. Candlewick, 2002 (27 p.) Gr. 3-6
Fourteen monsters from Ancient Greece Mythology are explored and given a collage portrait.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. Theseus and the Minotaur; written and illus. by Leonard Everett Fisher. Holiday House, 1988 (32 p.).
Theseus battles with the Minotaur.

Hicks, Barbara Jean. Jitterbug Jam; illus. by Alexis Deacon. Farrar, 2005 (32 p.) 4-8 yrs.
Bobo is trying to sleep, but he is afraid of the human hiding under his bed. Bobo is a monster boy, and his experience parallels the human experience—his mom won’t believe him about the boy under the bed, and his older brother isn’t nice to him.

Kennedy, Kim. Frankenfrog; illus. by Doug Kennedy. Hyperion, 1999.
Scientists have to create a monster-size frog after creating a huge fly.

Kimmel, Eric A., ad. The Hero Beowulf; illus. by Leonard Everett Fisher. Farrar, 2005 (32 p.) Gr. 3-6
When the hero Beowulf hears of Grendel’s menace he goes to fight the monster, and he even gives up his armor so it will be a fair fight. Ultimately, Beowulf is victorious when he takes off Grendel’s arm.

Langrish, Katherine. Troll Fell. HarperCollins, 2004 (264 p.) Gr. 5-8
After his father dies, Peer is taken in by his two greedy uncles, Baldur and Grim. First Peer discovers that his uncles are planning to give him to the troll king in exchange for treasure, and then he must venture into the troll’s lair himself when his uncles kidnap the younger siblings of a friend.

Lasky, Kathryn. Porkenstein; illus. by David Jarvis. Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2002 (32 p.) 6-9 yrs.
Dr. Smart Pig decides to create a friend for himself after his brother are killed by the Big Bad Wolf, but Porkenstein’s ravenous appetite makes him an usual companion with, with unexpected results.

Leuck, Laura. Jeepers Creepers: A Monstrous ABC; illus. by David Parkins. Chronicle, 2003 (26 p.) 4-6 yrs.
Roll is called, starting with Ann and ending with Zelda, for a class of monsters.

Loredo, Elizabeth. Giant Step; illus. by Barry Root. Putnam, 2004 (32 p.) 4-6 yrs.
Five mountain-top giants play a game called giant steps.

Lichtenheld, Tom. Everything I Know About Monsters: A Collection of Made-up Facts, Educated Guesses, and Silly Pictures about Creatures of Creepiness; written and illus by. Tom Lichtenheld. Simon, 2002 (34 p.) Gr. 3-6
A silly book about monsters, including the traditional under-the-bed kind, as well as the newer T.V. and movie monsters.

Mayer, Mercer. There Are Monsters Everywhere; written and illus. by Mercer Mayer. Dial, 2005 (32 p.) 5-8 yrs.
A young boy who just knows that monsters must be everywhere decides to take karate lessons so he can scare them off.

Morpurgo, Michael, ad. Beowulf; illus. by Michael Foreman. Candlewick, 2006 (92 p.) Gr. 6-9.
These three chapter version of Beowulf focuses on the hero’s battles with Grendel, the sea-hag, and the dragon, using alliteration to enhance the narrative.

Moser, Lisa. The Monster in the Backpack; illus. by Noah Z. Jones. Candlewick, 2006 (40 p.) Gr. 2-4.
When Annie gets a new backpack, she finds out that it has some special features like a monster. The little monster that comes with Annie’s backpack can cause trouble, but it can also be a friend.

Rex, Adam. Frankenstein makes a sandwich: and other stories you’re sure to like, because they’re all about monsters, and some of them are also about food; written and illus. by Rex Adam. Harcourt, 2006 (40 p.) 5- 10 yrs.
This humorous book in verse recounts the problems that monsters suffer.

Roberts, Bethany. May Belle and the Ogre; illus. by Marsha Winborn. Dutton, 2003 (48 p.) Gr. 1-3
May Belle becomes good friends with an ogre that just wants to be pretty, but first May Belle has to explain that friendship involves both give and take instead of just take.

Sierra, Judy. The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters; illus. by Henrik Drescher. Candlewick, 2005 (64 p.) Gr. 3-5
Lighthearted, gruesome descriptions are given of monsters. The monsters are categorized by region and a survival tip is included with each entry. An introduction and afterward are included and these give readers some historical context and consideration for where myths come from.

Taylor, Shawn. When a Monster is Born; illus. by Nick Sharratt. Roaring Brook, 2007 (32 p.) 4-7 yrs
This fun book on the events in the life of a monster offers the reader a choice of two outcomes for each event.

Willems, Mo. Leonardo the Terrible Monster; written and illus. by Mo Willems. Hyperion, 2005 (48 p.) 3-6 yrs.
Leonardo is horrible at being a monster. He pores over yearbooks in an attempt to find a fraidy-cat, but when his fraidy-cat candidate, Sam, does cry, it really is because of the stuff going on in Sam’s life. What are a pathetic monster and a lonely little boy to do?

Wormell, Chris. The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit; written and illustrated by Chris Wormell. Knopf, 2004 (32 p.) 4-7 yrs.
The big ugly monster is such an ugly monster that he can’t make any friends at all because even the stone animals he sculpts crack in the face of his ugliness. This all finally changes for him when he sculpts the stone rabbit, his constant companion.

Yates, Phillip. Ten Little Mummies: An Egyptian Counting Book; illus. by G. Brian Karas. Viking, 2003 (32 p.) 3-7 yrs.
Ten mummies seek out adventure one night and one and by their numbers are thinned until the last little mummy heads back to the tomb to be reunited with her nine other friends.

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