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New Review Tuesday: Monsters the New Pirates?

For the past couple of years it seemed like I couldn't open a publisher's catalog without finding a new pirate-themed picture book. (Insert obligatory "Arrgh!" joke here.) For the record, some of my favorite pirate tales include David Shannon's How I Became a Pirate and Pirates Don't Change Diapers as well as June Sobel's hilarious alphabet book Shiver Me Letters.

But lately there's a new picture book hero: the monster. Perhaps it's the appeal of movies like Monsters Versus Aliens. Or maybe pirate books are taking a back seat because of very real and scary current events, while monsters still rule the world of imagination.

34933904 Whatever the case, keep an eye out for a slew of monster picture books hitting book shelves in the coming months. One of the first to arrive is How to Potty Train Your Monster, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Michael Moon. This is one of those books where the kid appeal is obvious without even having to open the front cover. Potty humor plus colorful monsters? Check.

At the same time, this tongue-in-cheek guidebook is entirely classroom appropriate and would be a great model for "how-to" writing for first- through fourth-graders. DiPucchio clearly spells out each step in the potty-training process and you can use that as a launchpad for talking about the importance of clarity in writing instructions.

Other monster books on the horizon include Ed Emberley's latest There Was an Old Monster! (July 1), based on "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," as well as Dian Curtis Regan's Monster Baby (June 15) and Barbara Jean Hicks' Monsters Don't Eat Broccoli (August 11).

Do you have a favorite monster picture book? Share in the comments!


Pufferbellies Toys and Books

My all-time favorite is Ed Emberley's Go Away Big Green Monster! Perfect in every way, and the centerpiece of my best October storytimes.

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Kid Lit Kit are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.