By Libby Hamiltion
Candlewick Press, $17.99, 15 pages

This is an almanac of gross, a lift-the-flap book of smelly squish, an encyclopedia of engaging hideousness, a Monstrous Book of Monsters.  Written by the missing monster investigator, Dr. Thomas Jelly, this fanciful interactive book will have many a child giggling over monster home infestation or gagging over monster anatomy.  Children will learn how to avoid, run from, capture, and even dispose of any variety of nasty beasts.  The book is made with a durable cover despite the bite taken out of it by the buggy-one-eyed monster lurking on the front.  Fifteen pages are full of lift-the-flap surprises, a few pop-out beasts, and detail after detail about monster habits, diet, identification, and droppings.  This monster guide is perfect for any child old enough not to be too frightened by all the gross tidbits but also young enough to be enthralled by all of the imaginative facts (4 – 10 years old).  Enjoy reading all the disgusting details aloud or allow your child to discover them on their own. Be prepared to assure them that monsters do not actually exist; especially under their bed, in their nose, or in the toilet.  A highly recommended title to boost imagination and fright.

Reviewed by Catherine McMullen