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One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. With its perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this silly-spooky prequel to the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That’s MY Monster! will keep young readers entertained.
About the Author
Amanda Noll is the author of the award-winning I Need My Monster and Hey, That's MY Monster. She teaches full-time and lives in Spanaway, Washington. Howard McWilliam is the award-winning illustrator of I Need My Monster, Hey That's MY Monster!, When a Dragon Moves In, and many other children's books. He is the cover artist of The Week (US and UK), and he lives in Cheltenham, England.
"Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone." — Kirkus Reviews
"This prequel to Noll’s I Need My Monster (2009) is reminiscent of the Pixar film Monsters, Inc., in which professional monsters visit bedrooms to scare young children. When little Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he discovers five pairs of huge eyes staring back at him. A number of potential monsters have come to compete for the role of scaring him into staying in bed all night. Having blown their cover, the monsters emerge and take turns auditioning to see who can scare Ethan the most. The monsters are quite small, though, and he isn’t easy to scare; in fact, Ethan is delighted by the monsters’ amusing antics. McWilliam’s illustrations, done in pencil and digital acrylic paint, are bright and wonderfully lifelike—so much so that even the goofy-looking monsters may be a bit too much for the youngest readers. For those children who are ready for a little scare, though, this is a clever, fun romp." — Connie Fletcher, Booklist Online
"Monster fans are going to enjoy every page and maybe learn a little more about monsters along the way. Ethan is looking for a toy and runs across a strange letter. Soon, five pairs of eyes are staring back at him from underneath his bed. These are monsters—furry, cute, long-tailed, and sweet. But these monsters are there for a reason. They need to learn the rules when it comes to kids and bedtimes. One of the monsters is sure to be perfect for Ethan, but it will take a bit of testing to find out which one it will be. This reminded me a bit of Monsters Inc. but with a sweeter vibe. Ethan finds having monsters under his bed and in his room a little surprising, but he takes it all in stride and enjoys the fun. The monster rules seem sensible, but lead to funny situations and make it clear that finding the perfect monster-kid match isn't always easy. The monsters each bring their own personality and charm, and when Ethan and his monster are finally paired, it's simply heart-warming. Even if it might mean a little bit of a scare along the way. The illustrations are super fun to gaze through. Each monster is portrayed uniquely and holds enough emotions to make them easy to like/love. There are little details to bring the pictures to life as they follow the tale and help the humor and friendship grow more vivid with each page. It's simply a cute story young listeners are sure to enjoy."—Tonja Drecker, Bookworm for Kids
"Author Noll certainly provides the impetus for getting kids to hop in bed and stay there, but the droll, big-eyed Ethan and the pseudo-dreadful monsters under the bed done up believably by artist Howard McWilliam in pencil and acrylic make this series prime monster fodder for Halloween, --not to mention anytime bedtime stories for kids who need a reason to keep their feet in bed, well out of the way of what's under there."—Books for Kids
"My toddler doesn’t know if she wants to wear pants today, but she definitely wants “more monster.” The new board book Are You My Monster?, by Spanaway author, teacher and mother of four Amanda Noll, is a big hit in our house with the under-2 crowd. The story follows a little boy named Ethan as he compares a drawing of his monster to a series of spectacular real-life monsters. Are their teeth big or small? Do the colors match? Is the tail long or short? Illustrated by Howard McWilliam, a children’s book artist who doubles as the cover artist of the magazine The Week, the fantastic monsters inspire even the most timid of readers to invent characters and read aloud in silly voices. My little one was equally smitten with McWilliam’s board book I Love My Dragon, which follows a boy and his giant dragon as they go to the beach, swim in the pool, and eat snacks (the toddler version of gym, tan, laundry). For older kids, How I Met My Monster is the forthcoming prequel to I Need My Monster. The story follows Ethan as goofy monsters emerge from under the bed and compete to become his official monster by scaring him into staying in bed. Their attempts, more funny than frightening, will have readers ages 4-8 giggling themselves into peaceful slumber."—Sydney Parker, Seattle's Child
"This series, and the latest addition, are the perfect choices for kids who like something just a little scary but not too scary. Fun for Halloween or any time of the year." —Jennifer Wharton, Jean Little Library
"I love the action in each page and how Noll and McWilliam vary the layouts to keep attention going...I appreciate how Noll has used a lot of the same verbage and imagery throughout the books...As with the other books in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations are absolutely delightful...One of the most important things to know about the books in this series is that they are amazing read alouds!...Though this one doesn’t release till after Halloween and the whole series is great for year-round enjoyment, October is the perfect time to crack these open and get in the Halloween-y mood!" —Mary Costello, Children's Lit Love
"It isn’t uncommon for children to be afraid that monsters are hiding under their beds or in their closets. However, the monsters have met their match with the cute boy in this week’s picture book for children... This picture book might be a great gift for a child you know—who doesn’t like to stay in bed, perhaps?" —Diane Prather, Craig Daily Press
"One night, before bed, Etan discovers a note under his bed, inviting all monsters to meet there for their final test. Monsters? Good thing he doesn’t believe in monsters. Then he hears rumbling, grumbling, and mumbling coming from under his bed, followed by the most shocking display of four little monsters and their teacher crawling out from under his bed. As each monster gives their best shot at scaring Ethan, he can only erupt in laughter. Will Ethan ever find the perfect monster to keep under his bed? In the most adorable tale exploring and explaining the mystery of monsters under the bed, How I Met My Monster is a bedtime must-read story. Delightfully cute illustrations vividly spread across the pages will keep even the youngest of listeners captivated. The perfect balance of giggles and scares, little ones will no longer be scared of a monster under their bed, but ask for one instead. Taking what used to be a frightful nighttime routine of checking under the bed and in closets, Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam, instead, turn this routine into the delightful prospect of gaining a nighttime friend." —Amy Shane, San Francisco Book Review